WWF Announces $2.8M Indonesia Debt Swap

Forests of Borneo
WWF joined The Nature Conservancy and the Indonesian and US governments to sign a debt-for-nature swap agreement that will result in a new $28.5 million investment to help protect tropical forests in three districts on the Indonesian side of Borneo (Kalimantan).

This achievement is the result of two years of hard work and persistence by a joint US and Indonesia team.  Special congratulations is due to our Conservation Finance team of Esteban Brenes and Eric Swanson, who provided superb guidance and unrelenting energy, and to the Heart of Borneo team here and in Indonesia, namely Ginny Ng, Adam Tomasek, and Wisnu Rusmantoro, as well as to the leadership and vision of WWF Indonesia’s Budi Wardhana and Nazir Foead.

Other parts of the WWF network also contributed signficantly. WWF-NL and WWF-Germany joined with us to co-invest $2M as WWF’s aggregate contribution and co-financing of this program.

The funds from this debt swap will address the threat of deforestation and help reduce carbon emissions in Indonesia. It will invest in improved land-use planning to direct development toward already degraded lands; in improved management of protected areas, and other critical measures to reduce forest destruction; and also in supporting “green” Indonesia travel initiatives, other economic development opportunities, and local communities.  The swap will focus investment in three critical Districts, Kutai Barat and Berau in East Kalimantan and Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan province.

Notably, this swap also sets a major precedent, as it is the first debt swap under the U.S. Government’s Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) to have a major and explicit focus on averting climate change through tropical forest conservation.

Congratulations to all!

Tom Dillon
Sr. Vice President
Field Programs
World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US)


Asia Transpacific Journeys offers several trips to Indonesia and Borneo. In June, Asia Transpacific Journeys teams up with WWF for our Into the Heart of Borneo small group trip. Learn more about travel to Borneo by contacting a Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742.

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