How to Use Debt-for-Climate and Debt-for-Nature Swaps as Tool of Financing and Aid Effectiveness through collaborative Partnerships

16:00 - 17:30 GNT-4
Venue: Room 7– Antigua and Barbuda – 4th International Conference on SIDS


Debt-for-climate and Debt-for-Nature  swaps have emerged as an option for countries facing debt distress while striving to meet climate objectives and conservation priorities. With origins dating back to the late 1980s, these swaps gained prominence during the Latin American debt crisis and have since facilitated over 140 transactions, addressing approximately $3.7 billion in debt. Notable examples include The Nature Conservancy's acquisition of $20 million of Seychelles' debt in 2017 and Ecuador's landmark $1.6 billion deal announced in May 2023.

For Small Island Developing States (SIDS), burdened by both debt and climate vulnerabilities, debt-for-climate and Debt-for-Nature swaps offer a promising solution. With 54 nations globally, including many SIDS, facing severe debt challenges, the intersection of climate risks and fiscal constraints presents a formidable challenge.

Debt-for-climate and Debt-for-Nature swaps align financial recovery efforts with robust climate action. By leveraging these swaps, distressed nations can not only revitalize their economies but also advance climate commitments outlined in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This financing mechanism empowers SIDS to implement comprehensive climate resilience and adaptation measures, paving the way for sustainable development while meeting their debt obligations.

The United Nations Joint SDG Fund played a critical role in the implementation of a new wave of holistic financing strategies in the form of Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFFs) across the world, which will facilitate transformative shifts in the way capital is allocated and monitored.

The side event will convene development partners and frame the conversation around the role of the United Nations Joint SDG Fund in supporting Governments overcome impediments to financing the SDGs.

REGISTER and join us for this exciting session!


Keynote and Opening remarks:

  • H.E. José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of the Republic of Cabo Verde 
  • Mr. Luc Bagur, Director Sustainable Development Policy and Coordination, and Directorate-General for International Partnerships – DG INTPA, EU
  • Mr. Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)


Moderator: Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, Director of Policy and Advocacy, United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa

  • Mr. Ed Mountfield, Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services at the World Bank
  • Mr. Nuno Sampaio, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Portugal 
  • Mr. Alcindo Mota, Secretary of State for Finance, Cabo Verde
  • H.E. Patrice Gumbs, Minister Plenipotentiary of St. Maarten

Moderator: Mr. Kevin Bender, Director of Greening Sovereign Debt, The Nature Conservancy

  • Ms. Beverly Wade, Director of the Blue Bonds and Project for Finance Permanence Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister, Belize
  • Mr. Ricardo Marshall, Director of the Roofs to Reefs Programme, Prime Minister's Office, Barbados
  • Ms. Jennifer Doherty-Bigara, Senior Climate Change Specialist, IDB Country Office in Barbados  

*Read our latest report on Small Island Developing States. Turning the Tide