In a major pro bono effort, Shearman & Sterling advised The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on an innovative financial deal that will enable the Government of Barbados to redirect a portion of its sovereign debt service into marine conservation funding in support of the nation’s commitment to conserve approximately 30% of its ocean and sustainably develop its blue economy. The deal will unlock approximately $50M to support environmental and sustainable development actions.
This project is the most recent in TNC’s “Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation” strategy, an ambitious plan to drastically scale up ocean conservation around the world. Barbados is the third country to partner with TNC on a Blue Bonds project, after the Seychelles and Belize. The Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation strategy is an innovative approach to work with governments on refinancing a portion of their sovereign debt, securing long-term sustainable financing for large-scale protection and management of valuable natural resources that lives and livelihoods rely on. The Blue Bonds strategy combines conservation finance with TNC’s science and marine planning expertise to help governments unlock funds at a scale that delivers against their conservation goals while also supporting the well-being of their communities and economies. The strategy is aligned with global goals to protect 30% of the world’s ocean, lands and freshwater by 2030.
Shearman & Sterling previously provided pro bono representation to TNC in its $364 million financial transaction with the Government of Belize that will enable the country to reduce its debt burden and generate an estimated $180 million for marine conservation, in support of Belize’s commitment to protect 30 percent of its ocean, strengthen governance frameworks for domestic and high sea fisheries and establish a regulatory framework for coastal blue carbon projects. Shearman & Sterling began working on this project in August 2020.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, the organization creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. They are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 75 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 38 through partners, the organization uses a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector and other partners.
The Shearman & Sterling team below included visiting attorney Sebastian de la Puente (NY-Capital Markets).