Countries with TFCA Programs

As of December 2014, approximately $233 million in congressionally-appropriated funds have been used to conclude 20 TFCA debt-for-nature agreements with 14 countries: Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica (two agreements), El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia (three agreements), Jamaica, Panama (two agreements), Paraguay, Peru (two agreements), and the Philippines (two agreements). For more information on agreements, scroll to information by country. The programs do not terminate on the final year of the host-government deposit into the accounts; the programs are active unless specifically designated as terminated.

Bangladesh  |  Belize  |  Botswana  |  Brazil  |  Colombia  |  Costa Rica  |  El Salvador  |  Guatemala  |  Indonesia  |  Jamaica  |  Panama  |  Paraguay  |  Peru  |  Philippines

Bangladesh

The Arannyak Foundation (the Bangladesh Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation) was officially registered in July 2003. The Foundation will receive approximately $8.5 million through 2018. Bangladesh’s tropical forests cover almost 1.5 million hectares, roughly half of which are in the southwestern Sunderbans region. This area is home to an important but declining population of Bengal tigers and is one of the largest mangrove forests in the world. The Sunderbans are designated wetlands of internationally-recognized importance by the Ramsar Convention. Website: www.arannayk.org

Belize

In August 2001, the governments of the U.S. and Belize, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy, announced a TFCA debt swap. The $5.5 million in appropriated funds were combined with $1.3 million in private funds raised by the Nature Conservancy to reduce Belize’s official debt to the U.S. by half. Under the agreement, the Government of Belize issued new obligations that will generate approximately $9 million in local currency payments through 2027 to help a consortium of four local NGOs administer conservation activities in protected areas. The four NGOs include: Belize Audubon Society, Program for Belize, the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment, and the Belize Nature Conservation Foundation.

Botswana

In October 2006, the governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Botswana signed the first and only TFCA agreement concluded in Africa. The agreement will reduce Botswana’s debt payments to the United States by over $8.3 million through 2016. These funds will be used to support grants that will conserve and restore important tropical forests throughout the country, including such world famous areas as the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park region. The agreement was made possible through a contribution of nearly $7 million by the U.S. government. Website: www.forestconservation.co.bw

Brazil

The governments of the United States and the Federative Republic of Brazil signed a debt reduction agreement in August 2010 to reduce Brazil’s debt payments to the United States by about $21 million through 2015. In return, the Brazil has committed these funds to support grants to protect the country’s tropical forests. While the program is now completed, its grants supported activities to conserve protected areas, improve natural resource management, and develop sustainable livelihoods for communities in areas such as the Atlantic Rainforest (Mata Atlantica), the Caatinga, and the Cerrado Biomes. Together, the biomes cover approximately 50 percent of Brazil’s territory and are home to some of the world’s most unique wildlife, such as Black-faced Lion Tamarins, Brazilian Gold Frogs, Blue-Bellied Parrots, and Brazilian rosewood. Website: www.funbio.org.br

Colombia

In April 2004, the governments of the U.S. and Colombia, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and the World Wildlife Fund, announced a TFCA debt swap. To carry out this swap, the U.S. Government provided $7 million and the three NGOs collectively contributed $1.4 million. The agreement generated $10 million through 2016 for tropical forest conservation. The proceeds continue to support the long-term financial sustainability of nine public and private protected areas, their buffer zones, and their corridors, all of which are located in three biogeographic regions of Colombia: the Tropical Andes, the Caribbean, and the Llanos. The regions cover 11.4 million acres of critical forest lands that overlap with part or all of 12 ecoregions in Colombia. Website: www.fondoaccion.org

Costa Rica I and II

The governments of the United States and Costa Rica, Conservation International, and the Nature Conservancy concluded an agreement in September 2007 to reduce Costa Rica’s debt payments to the United States by $26 million through 2024. In return, the Central Bank of Costa Rica committed to pay these funds to support grants to protect and restore the country’s important tropical forest resources. The debt swap program was made possible through contributions of over $12.6 million by the U.S. Government and a combined donation of over $2.5 million from Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy.

The two governments and the Nature Conservancy concluded a second TFCA deal in October 2010 that will provide more than $27 million through 2024 for tropical forest conservation. The new agreement was made possible by a U.S. Government contribution of $19.6 million, as well as a $3.9 million donation from the Nature Conservancy. This second TFCA program will support the efforts of the Costa Rican Government, working with the Forever Costa Rica Association, to develop and sustainably finance an integrated system of protected areas. TFCA grants will benefit areas such as the Osa Peninsula, including the Terraba-Sierpe mangrove swamps, the Naranjo/Savegre River complex, which contains some of the highest levels of biodiversity in Costa Rica, and the La Amistad International Park, home to one of Central America’s largest and most diverse ecosystems. Website: www.costaricaporsiempre.org

El Salvador

A TFCA agreement was signed in July 2001 as a debt reduction mechanism that added an account to the existing El Salvador Enterprise for the Americas Initiative Fund. The TFCA account will generate more than $14 million dollars through 2027. To date, the account has provided grants for protected area management, primarily through community-based organizations. Activities range from land surveys and baseline inventories to ranger training and the development of management plans. In more recent years, mangroves have been elevated as a priority ecosystem for conservation. Website: www.fiaes.org.sv

Guatemala

In September 2006, the governments of the United States and the Republic of Guatemala, together with the Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, concluded a large TFCA agreement. The deal will reduce Guatemala’s official debt to the United States and generate $24 million to conserve tropical forests in Guatemala. The government of Guatemala has committed these funds through 2021 to support grants to NGOs to protect and restore the country's important tropical forest resources. The agreements were made possible through contributions of over $15 million by the U.S. Government and $2 million from Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy. Grants will target four geographic areas, which, combined, constitute approximately 40 percent of the entire territory of the Republic of Guatemala: the Motagua-Polochic-Caribbean Coast, the Western Volcanic Chain, the Cuchumatanes region, and the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Website:  www.fcg.org.gt

Indonesia I, II & III

The Government of Indonesia has benefited from three TFCA swap agreements. The first, in June 2009, was made possible through contributions of $20 million by the U.S. Government and a combined donation of $2 million from Conservation International and Yayasan Keanekaragaman Hayati Indonesia (KEHATI). This agreement reduced Indonesia’s debt payments to the U.S. Government by nearly $30 million through 2017. In return, the Government of Indonesia committed these funds to tropical forest conservation on the island of Sumatra, home to the endangered Sumatran tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, and orangutan.

In September 2011, the two governments, in partnership with the World Wild Fund for Nature/Indonesia and the Nature Conservancy, signed a second TFCA agreement for Indonesia. The 2011 agreement reduced Indonesia’s debt to the U.S. Government by $28.5 million through 2019. The agreement redirects this amount into a fund administered by KEHATI for the island of Kalimantan. The TFCA Kalimantan deal will focus on three districts: the Berau Forest Carbon Program in Berau (East Kalimantan), the Heart of Borneo program in Kutai Barat (East Kalimantan), and Kapuas Hulu (West Kalimantan). The TFCA II deal was made possible through a contribution of $19.8 million from the U.S. Government and $3.6 million from NGO partners.

In September 2014, the same parties to TFCA I, completed a third TFCA agreement as an amendment to the first, focused on the island of Sumatra. It reduced the Government of Indonesia’s debt payments to the U.S. Government through 2021 by nearly $12.7 million. Specifically, the grants must contribute to the conservation and protection of rhinoceros and tiger populations, with benefit to other species, including orangutans, and their associated habitat in Sumatra. The grants are known as the TFCA Species Fund. Website: www.tfcasumatra.org

Jamaica

In September 2004, the governments of the United States and Jamaica and the Nature Conservancy concluded a debt swap that will generate $16 million through 2024 for tropical forest conservation. There are seven priority sites for the funds throughout the island, from the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park to the Negril Protected Area. The swap was made possible by a contribution of $6.5 million from the U.S. Government and $1.3 million from the Nature Conservancy. While the TFCA fund originally capitalized the Jamaica Protected Areas Trust (JPAT), JPAT was merged with the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica in 2013. Website: www.efj.org.jm and www.jpat-jm.com

Panama I & II

In July 2003, the governments of the United States and Panama, together with the Nature Conservancy, signed a first set of debt swap agreements under the TFCA, which generated $10 million through 2017 to improve management of the Upper Chagres Riger Basin in the Panama Canal Watershed. The watershed provides 50 percent of the water needed to operate the Panama Canal and 80 percent of the water needed for human consumption in the region. The swap was made possible by a contribution of $5.6 million from the U.S. Government and $1.2 million from the Nature Conservancy. The Fundacion Natura is the fund administrator.

In August 2004, the governments of the United States and Panama and the Nature Conservancy concluded a second debt swap, which generated $11 million through 2016 to help conserve 1.4 million acres (579,000 hectares) of the exceptionally rich forests of the Darien National Park bordering Colombia. The swap was made possible by a contribution of $6.5 million from the U.S. Government and $1.3 million from the Nature Conservancy. Both Panama accounts continue with small endowments of about $5 million each. Website: www.naturapanama.org

Paraguay

The U.S. Government and the Republic of Paraguay concluded agreements in June 2006 to reduce Paraguay’s debt payments to the United States by nearly $7.4 million. In return, Paraguay has committed these funds, through 2018, to support grants to conserve and protect high-value tropical forests in the southern corridor of the Atlantic Forest of Alto Parana. This work is targeting: San Rafael National Park Reserve, Caazapa National Park, Ybyturuzu Managed Resources Reserve, Tapyta Private Nature Reserve, Ybycui National Park, and the Ypeti Private Nature Reserve. This agreement was made possible through a contribution of nearly $4.8 million by the United States under the TFCA program. Website: www.fondodeconservaciondebosques.org.py

Peru I & II

Peru is party to two debt-for-nature agreements with the United States. The first agreement was signed in June 2002. The U.S. Government allocated $5.5 million to cancel a portion of Peru’s debt, while the Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and the World Wildlife Fund together committed a total of more than $1 million. As a result, Peru provided the local currency equivalent to $10.6 million toward conservation through 2014. The fund administrator was the Peruvian Trust Fund for National Parks and Protected Areas. The agreement gave priority to 10 forested areas within the Peruvian National System of Protected Areas that cover more than 27.5 million acres of the Peruvian Amazon.  

In September 2008, a second TFCA agreement was signed and generated more than $25 million through 2015. In return, the government of Peru committed these funds to support grants to protect tropical rainforests of the southwestern Amazon Basin and dry forests of the Central Andes. The TFCA II fund administrator was the Fondo de las Americas, which was created in 1997 through an Enterprise for the Americas agreement with the U.S. Government. Both Peru TFCA agreements have now terminated. Websites: www.profonanpe.org.pe and www.fondoamericas.org.pe 

Philippines I & II

In September 2002, the governments of the United States and the Republic of the Philippines concluded a TFCA debt reduction agreement, which generated $8 million for small grants for forest conservation activities through 2016. The deal was made possible through a contribution of $5.5 million from the U.S. Government. The funds, used for a variety of protection and management purposes, terminated in 2019.

In July 2013, the two governments concluded a second TFCA debt reduction agreement, which will generate approximately $31.8 million for forest conservation through 2021. The agreement was made possible by a contribution of $28.2 from the U.S. Government. The same fund administrator, the Philippines Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF) from the first TFCA agreement will administer the second fund. The second TFCA deal will be used to provide grants to conserve, maintain, and restore key tropical forests, with particular and priority emphasis on the Sierra Madre, Samar and Leyte, Palawan Islands, and Bukidnon/Misamis areas. To simplify the name, the PTFCF will now be called Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP). Website: www.ptfcf.org

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Last updated: April 13, 2020

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