Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund

The Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund (BCAF) supports the development of blue carbon restoration and conservation projects in developing countries and helps pave the way for private sector finance.

The BCAF was established by Australia and IUCN as a dedicated funding scheme with a vision to help increase coastal blue carbon ecosystems conservation and restoration for the benefits to climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity and livelihoods of coastal communities.

How are we making an impact?

The BCAF focuses on increasing the global supply of investment-ready blue carbon restoration projects and enhancing the business case for financing by applying measurement approaches that value the climate, biodiversity and livelihood benefits of these ecosystems.

We do this by identifying, growing and supporting efforts in several ways:

1. Readiness support

Supports project developers with activities to get projects ready for implementation and future private sector finance – growing the global portfolio of credible and investment-ready blue carbon projects.

2. Implementation support

Supports on-the-ground blue carbon ecosystem restoration or conservation projects that will demonstrate and measure climate, biodiversity and livelihood benefits – enhancing the business case for private sector investment in blue carbon ecosystems.

3. Project assistance

BCAF supported projects will also have access to technical guidance, collaborative networks and exposure to opportunities for future financing.

Why blue carbon ecosystems?

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems are environments that support mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses. They are one of nature’s superheros in the fight against climate change playing a crucial role as carbon sinks, sequestering and storing large amounts of carbon. They also provide significant benefits to protecting biodiversity and supporting livelihoods.

Carbon benefits

Carbon benefits

The term ‘blue carbon’ recognises the ability of these ecosystems to capture and store large amounts of carbon in their soils, roots and plants making them a significant ‘carbon sink’. Mangroves store three to five times more carbon per area than terrestrial forests. That’s why restoring and protecting coastal ecosystems is so important. Sadly these ecosystems are often destroyed to make way for developments. This releases vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, further fuelling climate change.

Ecosystem benefits

Ecosystem benefits

Coastal ecosystems are some of the most productive on earth. They are home to important biodiversity and provide many ecosystem services, such as essential breeding grounds for commercial fish, habitat for threatened marine species such as turtles and dugongs, feeding and staging grounds for migratory birds, stabilise shorelines and purify water flowing into our ocean and reef systems. They also form the basis of many tourist destinations, generating income from ecotourism activities.

Community benefits

Community benefits

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems play a vital role in food security and sustaining coastal livelihoods, including by supporting fishing and tourism businesses. They also provide a natural barrier that can reduce the impact of storm surges, infrastructure damage and can protect lives. The involvement of communities in the set-up, management and execution of carbon restoration projects is crucial to ensure longevity of protection. Restoration projects can also directly benefit the communities through local job creation.

Who’s behind the BCAF?

The BCAF is funded by the Australian Government and is delivered in partnership with IUCN. The BCAF was inspired by the work of the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) and addresses barriers identified by the International Partnership for Blue Carbon (IPBC), which aims to accelerate blue carbon protection.