But forgiving a share of Kenya’s hefty foreign debt, in exchange for the government devoting those resources to fighting climate change threats and biodiversity loss, could tackle several big problems at once, researchers said on Tuesday.”As part of pandemic economic rescue packages, governments have an opportunity to address simultaneously the crises of debt, climate and biodiversity destruction,” researchers from the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) wrote in a report.It ranks countries that would benefit most from such “debt swaps” based on their vulnerability to climate change, richness of biodiversity, indebtedness and creditworthiness.At the top of the list are Cape Verde – an island nation off the coast of West Africa – Vietnam, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea.In Vietnam, for example, swapping debt for nature and climate protection could help farmers in the Mekong Delta – a major food-growing area at high risk of sea level rise – switch to salt-tolerant crop varieties, said report co-author Paul Steele.Opening up budget space could also expand a government effort that pays farmers, particularly in the poorest indigenous communities, to plant trees and conserve forests, he said.Most of the $8 trillion in debt owed by developing nations in 2019… Read full this story
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