WWF celebrates agreement between the governments of the United States and Peru for the exchange of debt for about US$ 20 million in favor of the conservation of the Peruvian Amazon

Posted on 18 September 2023
  • The agreement is the twenty-second under the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act (TFCCA).
  • The funds will be used for the conservation of the Amazon, especially for the effective management of protected areas and connectivity, aiming at its sustainable development.

LIMA, September 7, 2023 - The Government of the United States of America, the Government of Peru, and four non-governmental organizations - Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), signed the debt-for-nature swap and forest conservation agreements under the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act (TFCCA) in Lima.

This debt swap corresponds to the Peruvian government's obligations to the United States, reducing payments by about US$20 million over the next 13 years. In exchange, the funds will be used to protect and restore the Amazon rainforests.  An Oversight Committee composed of representatives from the four NGOs and both governments will be responsible for establishing administrative, technical and financial guidelines for the proper execution and administration of the funds to support projects that directly benefit the Peruvian Amazon.

The operation was made possible by contributions of $15 million from the U.S. Government under the TFCCA and a combined grant of $3 million from CI, TNC, WCS and WWF. The funds provided under the TFCCA program will support activities such as conservation of natural protected areas, natural resource management and the development of sustainable livelihoods for forest and river-dependent communities.
"This is a milestone for Peru's nature conservation. This debt swap demonstrates how a nation's debt can be transformed into an investment for nature. The Amazon faces multiple challenges and we must act now to avoid reaching the point of no return. WWF is convinced that the fate of humanity is inseparable from the fate of the Amazon.  So, if the future of this region is at risk, the world is at risk. To avoid this threat we must promote these 3 big wins: zero deforestation, no illegal gold and conserve 80% of the forests, wetlands and rivers of the Amazon. If we continue to lose the Amazon forests at the current rate, we run the risk of facing an irreversible degradation process. The Amazon is home to millions of people, including indigenous peoples and local communities, and with their leadership there is hope for a greener and more just future," said Kurt Holle, Country Director of WWF-Peru.
In the past, Peru has benefited from debt swaps with the United States in 2002 and 2008 that eventually generated nearly $11 million and $25 million, respectively, for the restoration, conservation, management, and sustainable use of tropical forests.
"WWF celebrates this conservation milestone that allows countries to improve their debt management, while boosting investment in environmental sustainability and biodiversity. Thanks to this, Peru will be able to bet on opportunities that ensure conservation and a future full of life in the great landscapes of the Peruvian Amazon and its communities. We hope to replicate this scheme in other countries in the region that are vulnerable to the effects of climate and biodiversity crises, always seeking to increase their resilience and generate better living conditions for their populations", said Roberto Troya, WWF's Regional Director for Latin America, and the Caribbean.
The agreement with Peru marks the 22nd TFCCA pact, following agreements with Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica (two agreements), El Salvador (two agreements), Guatemala, Indonesia (three agreements), Jamaica, Panama (two agreements), Paraguay, Peru (two agreements) and the Philippines (two agreements). Over time, these debt-for-nature operations will together generate more than US$380 million to protect tropical forests.


Renato Gonzales
Associate Communications Officer - WWF Peru
+51 949 262 402