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Latin America is currently in a debt crisis Poor management over lending by banks and a bad turn in the world economy has produced severe debt that is forcing these countries to exploit their natural resources in an attempt to ease their economic problems However many individuals and organizations have seen a silver lining to this cloud and are now buying debts at a discounted rate and giving them back to the debtor countries in return for environmental protection Although increasingly difficult to achieve these debt for nature swaps are beneficial to the debtor country and the world So why do we go to all this trouble for a few countries that are not even big players in the world market I discovered that we loose about 40 million acres of forest each year and 27 million of that is tropical rain forrest White house fact sheet on the Presidents Proposal for a Global Forest Convention Considering that the worlds forest act as respiration filtration and cooling system we must make a concerted effort to conserve and start repairing the damage we have already done A large part of the worlds forest rest in the debt ridden counrties of Latin America In an attempt to repay these huge debts countries are utilizing their natural resourses and straining them to the point where their situation could have global ecological ramifications There is an undenyable link between the deforestation in Latin America and its enoumous debt Debt for-nature swaps take advantage of an otherwise bad situation turn it around and use it to promote forest conservation in Latin America The first debt-for-nature swap was with the government of Bolivia and the non government organization Conservation International Since then the international community and the United Nations have picked up the idea and now incorperate it in many of their initatives and policies directed toward forest conservation in Latin America In a debt for nature swap
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