(Ecofin Agency) - The International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced on August 15 that it has provided a $500 million guarantee (over 313 billion FCFA at the current dollar value) against risks related to the issuance of a marine conservation bond in Gabon, known as the Gabon Blue Bond.
Quoting the DFC CEO, Scott Nathan, Le Nouveau Gabon wrote in a statement that "The political risk insurance from the DFC has provided critical support to this historic transaction, helped mobilize capital from institutional investors, and catalyzed additional investments in Gabon's marine conservation efforts".
The Gabon Blue Bond is expected to generate $163 million (over 102 billion FCFA) in financing for new marine conservation efforts over the next 15 years. It will advance critical conservation goals, protect endangered species, and support the sustainable "blue economy" of the country.
This fundraising operation in Gabon is conducted in partnership with the NGO The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Bank of America and will allow Gabon to buy back some of its debt.
Gabon’s President, Ali Bongo, said the deal with the DFC is "historic!” “The culmination of long work and the beginning of a real revolution. This agreement allows us to reduce our debt, better preserve the environment, and create more jobs for Gabonese in this future sector. It paves the way for other similar agreements in Africa. We can be proud of it!" the leader declared.
A Blue Bond or Obligation Bleue is a financial tool to raise funds from investors to finance marine and oceanic projects with positive environmental, economic, and climate impacts. This concept is inspired by the better-known green bonds.