An ingenious proposal for scaling up marine protection | The Nature Conservancy

November 9, 2019 posted by

Ah, earth’s oceans. They are beautiful,
inspiring, life-sustaining. They are also, as you’re probably
quite aware, more or less screwed. In the Seychelles, for example, human activities and climate change
have left corals bleached. Overfishing has caused
fish stocks to plummet. Biodiversity is in peril. So what can we do? Well, some form of protection, obviously. Nature is very resilient. When marine areas
are strategically protected, entire ecosystems can bounce back. However, creating marine
protected areas isn’t easy. First, you have the issue
of figuring out where to protect. This coral reef overlaps with that
international fishing route, intersects with this fish hatchery. Everything is interconnected. And marine protection plans
must take into account how one area affects another. Then, there’s the issue
of getting everyone on board. Coastal economies
often rely on fishing and tourism. If people think they can’t do their work, there’s no chance of getting
the local buy-in you need for the area to be successful. Marine protected areas
must also be enforced. That means the government itself
must be deeply invested in the plan. Token support will not cut it. And finally, conservation requires money. A lot of it. Governments in island and coastal nations
may want to protect their waters, but often these nations
have very high debt and can’t afford
to prioritize conservation. If we rely on philanthropic dollars alone
to fund marine protection, we might get a small
marine-protected area here, another little one there. But we need more
marine protected areas faster, to have lasting impact. So what exactly does
smart ocean conservation look like? How do we get the money,
government support and careful planning that takes into account
both local economies and complex ecosystems? We want to share with you
an audacious idea from The Nature Conservancy. It seeks to address
all of these things in one fell swoop. They’ve realized that debt held
by island and coastal nations is the very thing that will enable them
to achieve their conservation goals. TNC’s idea is to restructure this debt, to generate the funds and political will to protect reefs, mangroves and fisheries. For example, if you refinance your house to take advantage
of a better interest rate, maybe you use the savings
to insulate your attic. That’s what Blue Bonds for Conservation do
for entire coastal countries. Refinance the debt, then use the savings
to create marine protected areas. Of course, sovereign debt restructuring
is more complicated than that, but you get the basic idea. If investors put in
40 million dollars now, it can unlock as much as 1.6 billion
for ocean conservation. And this is how the work gets done. Step one: negotiate the deal. A coastal nation commits to protect
at least 30 percent of its ocean areas. In exchange, The Nature Conservancy
bring investors, public funders and international
development organizations to the table to restructure
a portion of the nation’s debt, leading to lower interest rates
and longer repayment periods. Step two: create a marine plan. Simultaneously, The Nature Conservancy
works with marine scientists, government leaders and local stakeholders to create a detailed conservation plan that integrates the needs of the ocean
with the needs of the people. Step three: activate for longevity. TNC establishes an independently run
conservation trust fund. The savings from the debt
restructure goes into it to support new marine protected areas. The trust then holds the government
accountable for its commitments, ensuring that the Blue Bonds
finance real protection efforts. Could this plan work? It already has. In 2016, TNC helped create a national
conservation plan in the Seychelles. TNC restructured 22 million dollars
of the government’s debt. And in exchange, the government agreed
to protect 30 percent of its marine areas. Today, the Seychelles is on track to protect 400,000
square kilometers of ocean. That’s an area
roughly the size of Germany. The Seychelles
is protecting its coral reefs, it’s replenishing its fisheries, it’s improving its resilience
to climate change. At the same time,
it’s strengthening its economy. This success is making
other governments take note. Many want to be part of this. There’s an opportunity
to scale this up, dramatically. And fast. TNC has identified 20 more nations
where such a plan should be possible. But to execute, they need seed capital. And to put in place local teams
who can develop conservation plans, work with all the stakeholders
and structure the deals. If they get the support they need
over the next five years, they could protect four million
square kilometers of ocean. That’s 10 Germanies. This would increase
the amount of protected areas in all of the world’s oceans by an incredible 15 percent. It would allow vast tracks
of the world’s coral reefs to replenish and give safe harbor to countless species. This would be truly incredible. And it’s really just the beginning. Because there aren’t
20 countries in the world where this kind of debt
conversion would work. There are almost 100. With this approach, everyone wins. Governments, local citizens, funders, and most importantly, our oceans. So in fact, we all win. Ah, earth’s oceans. [The Audacious Project]


100 Replies to “An ingenious proposal for scaling up marine protection | The Nature Conservancy”

  1. Earl Wilbur A. Nogra says:

    We need this in the Philippines! Our coral reefs and marine biodiversity is seriously deteriorating. Yes, there ARE NGOs that act upon these problems but those aren't enough. I hope the next country this will be implemented in will be the Philippines, but I find it sort of improbable with our current administration.

  2. Mellow says:

    Go for it!

  3. s r says:

    This is a GREAT idea but we all know that it is to late for all of us. ALL World governments a JOKE. You and I are powerless on this and the petrodollar rules the day. And they work us to death look at the US. Those pore people TRILLIONS on war and the people are the ones that suffer for it. just look at the infrastructure in the US scary.

  4. Eko Juwana says:

    Just woke up thought I saw marriage instead marine..

    Great Idea, now it really depends on the investor.. I think Susi Indonesia's Ocean Ministry will agree with it.

  5. Catalistic says:

    Not sure Indonesia is not called out because the minister finally doing what's right or it's so bad and they don't want hurt our feelings

  6. Eli Nope says:

    I have a cool idea. What if we make an international law that says that if you build an artificial island, that you immediately become financially responsible for cleaning up the oceans in the area that you are allowed to fish from? I think we all know a big offender here that is also the worlds number 1 country for causing man made climate change.

  7. amon jabidah says:

    Pls. include the philippines! Our seas have been polluted by locals,as well as, chinese invaders in the west phils.sea.😦

  8. Amabex Hernandez says:

    Super scam to buy public beaches and take control to build eco resorts then the locals can never set foot on their beach again. Instead of teaching how to conserve is about control of natural resources with a good cause as s shroud.

  9. Darren Navarro says:

    You dont know what you have until its gone.

  10. James JR says:


  11. GreenM&M_11 says:

    So proud to be a supporter of Nature Conservancy. Keep up the great work. World-class ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

  12. Gemini Writer says:

    I have next to no money. But seeing the thought out process, I’d invest!

  13. Sohaib Kamal says:

    I think you should call Elon Musk once.

  14. preben ølkær says:

    Nooo.. You Finance the dept, steal the money , and own the people. #LearnFromHistory

  15. preben ølkær says:

    ?? Stupid idear..?? To put yourself in dept is allways stupid.. Who benefits;)? Banks?? Soo this was the "Green-wave's" plan all along!!

  16. J Mary says:

    Honestly, this seems like greenwashed financial Imperialism to me!

    I really want to believe them, but as long as there are BP America representatives on the board of TNC I remain critical …

    It is not the small poorer island states that do the most harm to the ocean. Compared to other things going on in the oceans, these protected areas are peanuts..

  17. James da ginge:) says:

    This would have been perfect for my a level geography paper 1. 😂😂

  18. tema tema says:

    Ted is all about pink glasses

  19. 후구미 철학TV Hugoomi Philosophy says:

    Wow… Great idea…

  20. Twix Twix says:

    So you mean… you will hinder third world country’s growth so that people in first world countries can feel better for themselves

  21. Romanski says:


  22. Eugene Lee says:

    I believe in humanity and the good inside of us. Way to go!!!

  23. dow lafevers says:

    this should have wayyyyyy more views

  24. Loko van Norden says:

    Yeah, give money to corrupt governments, what could go wrong?

  25. Xanther Blaze says:

    Why, they're about to destroy it with war anyway…..Don't even give me this…Yeah take the rest of everyone's money, why don't yall go fishing instead of opening up your walmart packages, grow some corn and beans and raise chickens on your own………Then we wouldn't have large ships in the middle of the ocean harvesting millions of pounds of ocean fish, if you can get it in your town, maybe you were not supposed to have it.

  26. stallen says:

    This has got to be the most STUPID idea I've ever heard. Ranks up there with the 'Green New Deal'. What these small island nations need is LESS debt; not MORE debt. The so called 'blue bond' is a debt instrument. Flaws in the presentation are many. An example among the many is the homeowner refinancing the home to they can spend the savings on insulation. WHATA feel good moment for the viewer, granted. However, a more accurate analogy would be the homeowner refinances the home then gets home equity loan (a debt instrument) to finance the insulation. Just as much DEBT SERVICE as before the refinance but now has MORE YEARS and MORE DEBT. This is nothing more than a 'feel good' video wrapped around a 'Stupid, be in debt forever, idea'!

  27. will Twombly says:

    Sounds like a pyramid scheme smh

  28. ragmondead says:

    It has the risk of default. But still get some good done before that happens and you go bankrupt

  29. Vance H says:

    Save Our Planet.

  30. Paul Wittekind says:

    Usury will not save the environment.
    That is Jewish propaganda and Kabballah wizardry brainwashing.

  31. PheelGood Inc says:

    Nice, we can probably do the same thing with the forest.

  32. Jimmy Corkhill says:

    What nonsense… identify some real reasons for marine damage but miss some important ones…then add in global warming as a propaganda tool….and then make a scam to monetise nature and privatize it. Yes, nature needs protecting from the greedy psychopaths…but this is another way for the same lunatics to coopt the planet. Best wishes. FreeJulianAssangeFreePalestineFreeUsAll.

  33. eclipse says:

    The pollution isn't caused by Western countries.

  34. Richard W says:

    Pay fishermen a fisherman's wage to protect marine areas.

  35. Play Dog says:

    Hallo? First compensate the " pirates" of somilia, originally traditional fisherman, until all big nations were catching in industrial big ships all the fish and not paying not a single dollar. So fcuk you you and your channel for not telling the truth about now.!

  36. Priscilla says:

    I really hope this happens

  37. Le Lesra says:

    This does sound awesome. Unfortunately the video doesnt detail how they would "rearrange" the debt of these nation. You dont really know if this strategy is applicaple for other nations economoies. State debt is complicated and you cant just fix it.

  38. Kakashi Hatake says:

    I am thinking of watching one Ted video every day. 1 like = 1 cheer. Although I will do it anyway.

  39. Jesse Long says:

    BAHAHAHAH, wow what a preposterous idea. Let the banks in on creating debt packages for the poor nations whilst the rich ones continue to over consume. What kind of Chicago School of Economics wet dream is this? But they can easily switch to eco-tourism they say! Hah, that's garbage. There's too many of us and not enough room for the biodiversity we require to live.

  40. Murder Ballad says:

    Insane World.♥

  41. Art Nickel says:

    Most of the nations you talk about have histories of fraud and political corruption!

  42. Max says:

    What should I study to make it to my job to create detailed coservation plans that integrate the needs of environment with the ones of local communitys?
    Are there any subjects at University that enable you to solve such issues? I thought about Geography or environmental science.. Has someone made any experiences in those fields?

  43. Roc Ren says:

    Good content. Speak just a little bit slower might be better.

  44. Tobias Wilfert says:

    A little mentioned plus point of the concept is that 3rd world nations stay in debt to the first world Nations for even longer.

  45. s r says:

    FUKUSHIMA Daiichi nuclear disaster fix that FIRST. WE are a cancer on this planet. I feel so ashamed to be human and what we have done to earth. We as a species most go the way of the dinosaurs.

  46. Austin Carpinello says:

    How about we just stop eating fish!?

  47. Leonard Michelet says:

    But what about Europe that finance overfishing with public money? What about stopping these kind of subvention first for a start? It's not money that is lacking, but political will.

  48. globalbankfraud says:

    3rd World Debt has always been a scam used to steal their resources.

  49. Hieronymus Botched says:


  50. James Ritchie says:

    Whoever came up with this idea may know a lot about conservation, but I guarantee he or she does not have a major degree in economics. This stands zero chance of raising enough money to do any good at all.

    On the bright side, just wait thirty years and the next ice age will do the work for you.

  51. Tony Toons says:

    "The change of the future is the actions of the present" -Matt O'Spax

    It is in the hands of our generation to change the world for the best.

  52. Ryan Fournier says:

    Why not just stop mass fishing? Only the people who rely on fishing to survive should be allowed to fish. After all 46% of the oceans plastic is fishing nets, people just need to get over the fact they can't have their indulgences anymore because it is destroying the planet.

  53. Peter Caci says:


  54. Matt TheChosen says:

    First this seems more like an ad than a proper ted talk and it doesn't have any true deep insight. Plus it's essentially continuing the same systems that put much if the third world into unmanageable debt to the first world in the past.

  55. Colin Theriac says:

    better idea – make the reefs profitable and therefore self sustaining. Like entrance fees for national parks. The chicken, cow, and pig are not going extinct any time soon. One idea might be to create eco resorts along coastlines where the draw for tourists is the viewing of natural habitats. You can have nature walks where the guests can do beach cleanups as an activity. You get the picture. Because if people care enough about nature to force government to pay for it, then they will pay to protect it themselves. And if it pays for itself, then you don't run the risk of losing the protection when the political climate changes.

  56. Adi Olteanu says:

    And if the government does not protect the marine life what will happen? Does someone know? Because nobody is giving nothing for free

  57. Acsion42 says:

    1:25 that fish just had another fish straight up swim into its gills

  58. Jeremiah Supple says:

    That’s the stupidest thing I have heard in a long time. I am constantly amazed at the naïveté of highly educated people.
    1. It assumes debt forgiveness is not a cost. Well it is. And The taxpayer pays.
    2. It assumes people, bureaucrats and politicians will do what they say. They don’t.
    3. It assumes the corruption that got us in this mess will now play nice. They won’t.
    Try a little reality on your thinking process before you dig the hole deeper.

  59. Christopher28fair says:

    I'm all for it but let's kill as many poachers as possible too.

  60. Tex Herrell says:

    Ok. So you're gonna stop threir spraying ? Too late, I'm afraid, my dear. Greedy sociopaths…….They are their own end.

  61. mark Tanner says:

    The best way that we can help protect marine life is to stop eating marine animals.

    Did you know that 46% of the plastic in oceans comes from discarded fishing nets?

  62. Crystal Yeow Ching Ching says:


  63. Crystal Yeow Ching Ching says:

    Ho Cheng want all of them, she doesn't want orher people to earn money.

  64. Lucas Kerper says:

    Wonderfully made, thank you for giving us such a great idea! Cheers from Oregon USA.


    If you really want to save the mari e creatures go to HCBCHEMISTRY.COM


  66. POZIF STEEZ says:


  67. Sundar Bharadwaj says:

    I think both India and Pakistan(60$bn) can use this idea along with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

  68. chicawhappa says:

    Why not forgive debt in proportion to proven replenishment of any coastal stretch – after successful implementation xyz dollars can be forgiven? This bond thing sounds like yet another scam!

  69. WORLDETHQ says:

    This is serious. We need to protect our planet as soon as possible.

  70. Paul Newon says:

    interestingly interesting…. I am going to give this a shot… #LEHGO #TNC…

  71. Dutch BoSs says:

    well that was general as you can get.. no real details of the financial end of things, just a promise "it works"… if you think this is a good idea with out knowing those details, you might find yourself enslaved one day…

  72. Shellow says:

    Bcs of you I have to do a presentation in English 🙄😑

  73. roman brandle says:

    Don't worry theirs ever growing marine habitat , Florida , Bangladesh and the Pacific island . Maybe in a world without money we could get more done , the great barrier reef in Australia was only worth saving once a dollar value was put on it , and money was part of what destroyed it in the first place .

  74. Rich Atkinson says:

    How can I help?

  75. the greatest says:

    Question: What are the best books to read on this topic?

  76. William Bonsor says:

    Love it 👍🥇🤔

  77. Gregory Vasilyev says:

    "restructuring a nation's debt in exchange for its government's commitment to protect coastal areas" and investors who will actually pay that debt will benefit from this how?

  78. Joshua Richardson says:

    Wow – what an incredible video 🙂 I am in

  79. jake glenn says:

    Her voice is annoying.

  80. Sag Norm says:

    I see. Socialize the cost of doing business. Socialism for rich people. They start a business, take all the fish, pollute the ocean, make billions of dollars, and then tax payers clean up their mess.

  81. burtlangoustine1 says:

    Hi, Scotland here. We're keen. Doing similar projects already

  82. Yorky One says:

    The attempt to link Coral bleaching to Marine Protected Area's is rubbish, warming waters (climate change) cause bleaching nothing you are suggest would cure it. Also you may be loading poor coastal nations with further debt (if their repayments fall they may borrow more).

  83. ZgermanGuy says:

    Manhattan became the inofficial standart for destruction in movies and news and germany the standart for wildlife protection what an amazing world

  84. Anirudh R says:

    This beyond brilliant! This is exactly what we all need right now…

  85. Developer LLL124 says:

    This sounds like a tremendous opportunity for creditors. Not so much of an opportunity for the environment. It might help a little but it's pretty great if you're a large creditor.

  86. WillWhiskey says:

    "it already protects an area the size of germany"
    Me: thats not much
    "this new plan could protect an area the size of ten germanies"
    Me: ok thats…. thats way better

  87. Chris Klugh says:

    This is a cute idea and all but it wont work. Magically getting lower interest rates are much more complex then 'getting a deal on debt'.

    Low interest rates fundamentally is an indicator to the value of the Currency. Currency is a commodity subject to supply and demand. High interest rates usually means there is a high demand for a limited amount of Currency that can be 'sold' as debt. All Markets are like an Auctions, with the highest bid being the winning value of exchange. You have to factor in the Turn Over Rate, the amount of times a dollar exchanges hands in a year, to figure out if the Currency Supply is healthy or not. Take those 2 factors into consideration when assessing interest rates and what you will find in today's Global Currency Markets is that the value of the dollar is so low, that we have Negative Interest rates. Inflation is greater then the interest rate meaning in nominal terms, you can 'make money going into debt'.

    Unbelievable I know.

    So to get a Country, which likely has some of the lowest interest rates in the markets, is only further going to speed up the failure of the Currency itself and will one day become worthless. 100% of all the 1000's of Fiat Currency's in our history has Failed. Banking on the health and well being of our Marine Environments should not be subject to a system that is about to collapse. At best, this 'solution' will be temporary.

  88. Anthony Paull says:

    I love this idea. Unfortunately I live in Australia where we have more than enough money but 6 years of climate change denying government (and now another 3) means we've gone backwards in the past decade from where we were.

  89. jordana309 says:

    This is awesome! I keep seeing conservation efforts and ideas that are not going to make lasting change in the oceans. I'm so glad this plan got all the pieces in place to be a viable path forward!

  90. ctrlor says:

    thank you for doing this

  91. B. Rippy says:

    Sounds more like the nature conservancy is trying to get extremely rich by being the middle man.
    How exactly do you protect only 30% of the coastline of a country.

    Yet again, another non profit organization promising that they can save the world, but only if you send them your money.

  92. rabblerouser says:

    Don’t use taxes to try to “solve” these problems. Taxes only do two things: penalize trade, and gives power to the ones who will inevitably miss use the funds and use the taxes to penalize and financially harm the already financially disadvantaged. However, taxes in general only tend to limit the capital resources and financial power of one group by another group skimming off the profits from their hard won earnings, as if to say to them that the government knows better than they do with how to spend their money, time, and labor. Instead of forcing people to pay into a government scheme such as taxes do, perhaps the government could act as a receptacle for donations and for organizing groups of people to selflessly give up their time, money, and efforts in order to benefit the less fortunate, by perhaps offering public recognition, bolstering their public reputations through things like public awards ceremonies, statues, and monuments to encourage people to have a reason to volunteer as to give away their time for the benefit of others. This forced altruism known as taxes are not beneficial and the government becomes dependent on this never-ending government enforced thievery in order to for the government to continue to function, when its completely plausible for the national government to be able to function as purely a regulatory/standardization group, peacekeeper, and as a defense force. While the states should then manage the boring minutia and handle trade disagreements through third party oversight, and national regulation/standardizations.

  93. Floppy Hat Adventures says:

    all about going all in on proposals personally. We had dancers, flashmobs and all sorts 😀 as me and Brandon are big travellers we did it in bangkok

  94. Dorasmuris says:

    I would of liked to know more about the financial impact that has already happened through this program. You mentioned a lot about protecting the oceans, but it needed to mention more then a sentence on how its already worked.

  95. Nicholas Gerry says:

    Why is this not in TED-Ed? xD

  96. DarthVader20201 says:

    Looks like they have been watching a slideshow presentation through a screen

  97. Sam Kumar says:

    Not interested

  98. Ave Figgy says:

    so…what you're saying is….the nature conservancy is actually a $6 billion goldman sachs investment fund and the $$$ hard working ppl are donating instead of say taking $22 million to pay OFF the debt of these island nations + helping them solve these issues you're extending their debt for profit by not only making them pay– countries that can't afford to?? but making them pay for longer? so ehhhh what happens if say they default on the debt what is the collateral does goldman sachs i mean the nature conservancy now own the island

  99. Emily Zhu says:

    Did anyone mention that according to the my calculations, in the next 5 years tuna should be extinct

  100. Patrick Brett says:

    I hope for this kind of idea to work but fear it's too little too late as we are already locked into the next big ice age if the governments of the world can't reverse the current climate trends within the next 10 years, had they started 30 years ago when the warning signs first appeared it would be a totally different story. Good luck.

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