Pakistan nears debt-for-nature swap deal with UK, Germany, Canada and other countries


Pakistan eyes a deal with international creditors that would link the debt relief for the South Asian country to the achievement in biodiversity conversation.

Islamabad, which is under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan running various climate related projects including Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project, is currently engaged with lender countries for a debt-for-nature swap program, Bloomberg reported citing government officials.

Pakistan, if it secures the deal, would get debt relief in return for binding commitments to achieve biodiversity goals.

An official announcement in this regard is expected on World Environment Day on June 5, which will be officially hosted by Pakistan this year in partnership with UN Environment Porgramme.

“Four to five creditors will commit to an intent to engage for a debt-for-nature swap,” Malik Amin Aslam, climate change adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, told Bloomberg in an interview.

Pakistan is working with the UK, Germany, Italy and Canada for the Debt-for-nature swap deal, the media outlet said.

A report released by the International Monetary Fund in April shows Pakistan’s outstanding debt stands at $89,078 million with China, Japan and United Arab Emirates at leading lenders.

Such swap agreements have been around for long time, with the United Nations putting the value of debt-for-climate and nature agreements at over $2.6 billion from 1985 to 2015.

Efforts have now been paced up to realign finance with the protection of nature and at the same time to lessen the burden of debt on nations after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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