The Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund selects four community-led projects in its first stage: Project Readiness
In its first Call for Proposals, the Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund (BCAF) received entries from almost 40 countries, comprising nearly 70 NGOs and private enterprises, with project durations between 6 months to 3 years, covering multiple coastal ecosystems. This interest from project developers clearly shows a growing global movement to meet the increasing demand for high-quality blue carbon offsets.
Four outstanding winners were chosen: four project developers will receive funding and technical support to get their proposals ready for implementation and future private sector finance – adding to the international portfolio of credible, high impact and investment-ready blue carbon projects.
All of our winners are run by or deeply rooted in community-led efforts, each focusing on mangrove restoration and protection as a source for carbon credits alongside other environmental and social benefits. Mangroves are some of nature’s superheroes, sequestering up to 5 times more carbon than their terrestrial relatives, and serving in many areas as a nature-based solution to potential disasters such as cyclones, hurricanes, waves, and storm surges.
The demand for blue carbon credits for offsetting purposes has grown rapidly in the last few months, yet the lack of credible projects, from an environmental, social and financial aspect is often lamented. To address this need, International conservation organisation IUCN and the Australian Government’s department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment have partnered in bringing BCAF to life.
We’d like to thank all those who sent proposals and particularly congratulate the winners as we move forward together with them.
How BCAF will help
This project is aiming to use carbon credits to help finance the conservation and protection of mangrove forests in Bouche du Roy, a MAB UNESCO biosphere reserve.
With the support of BCAF, the project will go through an extensive feasibility assessment process to determine if the undertaking can meet certification requirements – a key first step towards attracting further investment in the project and eventually selling carbon credits in the voluntary market.
UNIMA, WWF and TERAKA
This project is planning to protect and restore 2,000 ha of mangrove forest across three sites on the north-western coast of Madagascar. Between 2000 and 2018, Madagascar experienced an overall net loss of mangroves of nearly 60,000 ha, which corresponds to a loss of 20% of its mangrove area.
Beyond the protection and restoration of mangroves and the development of a new income stream from carbon credits, this project will also help increase fish stocks, protect freshwater and increase habitat for biodiversity, including threatened species (as classified by the IUCN Red List). The mangroves will also provide a basis for crab farming, offering further income opportunities for local communities.
Consorcio Manglares del Noroeste del Perú
In Peru, a partnership formed by six artisanal fisher’s organisations has been in charge of managing the National Sanctuary Manglares de Tumbes since 2018. The Sanctuary protects the largest area of mangrove forest in Peru and is a Ramsar site.
With the support of BCAF funding, the project will be able to verify the carbon sink capacity of the area and pursue certification, which will allow the project to start selling certificates in the voluntary market. In addition, BCAF will also help fund a master plan for the management of the area, as well as a business plan that will ensure the financial sustainable management of the area.
Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Coast4C
In the Philippines, ZSL and Coast4C are working to combine their proven conservation and rehabilitation approaches to protect and restore large areas of mangrove forest using their proven assisted natural regeneration approach.
With the support of BCAF, the project will conduct a detailed feasibility assessment to determine the financial viability of scaling up and commercialising their blue carbon project. The feasibility assessment will include technical mapping and carbon modelling, as well as commercial analysis, and is a crucial first step towards carbon certification.
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.