World IN BRIEF : PANAMA : Debt-for-Nature Swap Is Hailed

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Panama agreed to exchange $30 million in foreign debt for nature bonds in what officials called one of the largest ever debt-for-nature swaps. The U.S.-based Nature Conservancy will buy Panama obligations for $30 million, then trade the debt paper for $30 million in ecological bonds that will be issued by the Panamanian government. Panama said the bonds will earn up to $2.5 million a year. The revenue will be used to help preserve the country's disappearing rain forests.

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