The Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund awards more than AUD 3M to four winning proposals for the implementation of blue carbon restoration and conservation projects
After initial support for 4 early-stage projects (known as the Readiness Round) in 2022 the Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund (BCAF) is renewing its support for community-led conservation and restoration projects – with a focus on South-East Asia. In the latest call for proposals, focused on supporting blue carbon implementation, the BCAF has selected 4 promising and innovative projects, with great potential for scaling and applying lessons learned. The need to help high-impact blue carbon projects kick off and mature remains, which the BCAF is working to overcome.
The four winners of the 2022 BCAF “Implementation Round” of funding have been selected for the diversity of issues they tackle and their innovative means for project implementation. The winners will receive funding and technical support for the implementation phase of their projects, adding to the international portfolio of credible, high impact and investment-ready blue natural capital projects.
Three of the winning projects are located in Indonesia, one in Papua New Guinea. This reflects the leading and key role of Indonesia, where there are more mangroves than anywhere else on the planet. The potential and maturity of projects in Indonesia will hopefully allow for further sharing of in-depth lessons learned on the successes and challenges of developing a blue carbon project.
Each of the selected projects is deeply rooted in a community-led approach for tackling on-the-ground blue carbon ecosystem restoration or conservation. The selected projects aim to demonstrate and measure benefits of blue natural capital conservation and restoration for climate, biodiversity, and people, and enhance the business case for private sector investment in coastal blue carbon ecosystems. In addition to the more traditional mangrove conservation and restoration projects, this cohort also includes a project focusing on restoring seagrass, recognized as another unique and valuable blue carbon ecosystem.
With growing demand for blue carbon credits, and with a particular need for socially, financially and environmentally sustainable projects to offset carbon emissions globally, there is a real need, yet also a challenge for the development of blue carbon projects in coastal areas around the world. To address this need, the international conservation organization IUCN and the Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water have partnered in bringing BCAF to life, offering financial and technical support to selected projects.
We would like to thank all the project developers for their proposals, and to congratulate the four winners as we move forward together with them.
How BCAF will help
Restoration of mangrove and seagrass ecosystems around three regions of the Indonesian archipelago. The project aims to diagnose the state of the existing ecosystems and to develop a plan for restoring, protecting, and rehabilitating mangrove and seagrass ecosystems. The project also aims at developing a long-term financial plan for restoring the region’s ecosystems to natural levels. Overall, the project is leading to better support for local communities, better knowledge and community awareness, and better governance in blue carbon ecosystems.
The BCAF will support the project leaders in developing a financial model for the long-term implementation of the project, providing guidance in setting up a blue carbon credit system, as well as developing synergies with local governments and communities.
Papua New Guinea
Infinity Blue is partnering with local communities, researchers, and authorities to develop a community-led coastal management plan for mangrove conservation supported by blue carbon credits. The project will assess the mangrove ecosystem extent and resilience through a locally led monitoring campaign, determine the carbon reduction potential of the existing mangroves, and support the community to prepare for a blue carbon project.
The BCAF will support the project leaders in developing the first application of blue carbon credits in Papua New Guinea. Additionally, BCAF will support the development of a sound financial model and help with developing long-term viability of the project by clarifying the blue carbon credit standard to be implemented.
As part of partnership with government, Konservasi Indonesia is developing a project aiming at defining a mixed management solution for MPAs, combining fisheries management, protected areas management and sustainable financing of marine protected areas. As part of this project, local communities and authorities will be fully engaged in the conservation, restoration and monitoring activities, fuelling knowledge transfer and training of the local communities.
The project is also integrated as part of the Blue Halo S initiative, and will include exploration of blue carbon credits as an additional financing tool, mobilizing public and philanthropic funding to catalyse private investment in ocean conservation.
The BCAF funds will complement ongoing investment from the Indonesian Government and partners on integrated ocean conservation and fisheries management and will help leverage blue carbon within the Blue Halo S initiative
Blueyou is spearheading an approach of investible regenerative aquaculture farms, combining no-input shrimp production and blue carbon credits from sequestered carbon in restored mangroves.
The goal is to develop 5,000ha of fishponds containing at least 50% of mangrove cover by 2030. This large expansion of hybrid mangrove and aquaculture areas will increase the benefits for the local shrimp farmers as well as present an attractive opportunity for impact investors.
BCAF will support Blueyou in the development of long-term financial models and carbon credit accreditation, necessary for the envisioned scale up of the Selva Shrimp Indonesia Program.
* Note: total award amount might be subject to change based on the final agreement with the project developers
What is the BCAF?
The Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund supports the development of blue carbon restoration and conservation projects in developing countries and helps pave the way for private sector finance. 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.
BCAF is excited to start work with its first four projects, all of which were selected during a rigorous Call for Proposals process with the ultimate decision on which projects to fund being made by a Grants Approval Committee.
Further Calls for Proposals will be announced in the near future.