Madagascar signs EUR 13m conservation deal with France

12th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

France forgoes Madagascar’s foreign debt of EUR 13 million and allows the island to use it for preserving its rich biodiversity, says the World Wildlife Fund.

12 June 2008

NAIROBI - Madagascar and France on Wednesday signed an agreement allocating EUR 13 million (USD 20 million) to preserve Madagascar's rich biodiversity, the World Wildlife Fund said.

The cash will be managed by a WWF fund called Foundation for Protected Areas and Biodiversity (FPAB), Conservation International and the Madagascan government to support the country's distinct ecosystems and wildlife.

"This initiative is an excellent example of innovative financing for sustainable development," Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, the WWF's acting regional representative in Madagascar, said in a statement.

The USD 20 million were owed by Madagascar to France as foreign debt, but France agreed to let the island channel this money to its own conservation instead of paying it back.

"Increasing funding to the endowment of the (FPAB) means support for the protected areas' recurrent costs will be available long term. Stable and predictable revenues are critical to win the battle against deforestation and biodiversity loss in Madagascar."

The cash has helped FPAB's endowment reach its 50-million-dollar target.

Nearly 98 percent of Madagascar's land mammals, 92 percent of its reptiles, and 80 percent of its plants are found nowhere else on earth, the WWF statement added.

[APF / Expatica]

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