Project typologies

Blue Carbon

A deep-dive into Blue Carbon removal and avoidance projects

What are Blue Carbon projects?

Blue Carbon projects refer to Wetlands Restoration and Conservation (WRC) projects dedicated to protecting, rehabilitating, and conserving wetland ecosystems, including marshes, swamps, peatlands, and other ocean and coastal ecosystems. These projects focus on restoring hydrological flows, conserving biodiversity, and enhancing ecosystem services provided by wetlands.

WRC projects involve measures such as re-establishing natural water flows, preventing pollution, and controlling invasive species. These projects contribute to carbon sequestration by restoring wetlands, as wetlands store large amounts of carbon in their vegetation and soils. Additionally, WRC projects help regulate water quality, prevent flooding, support wildlife habitats, and provide recreational and educational opportunities for local communities.

These projects are referred to as carbon removal projects, focusing on the reduction of carbon already present in the atmosphere. 
 
Mangroves
Protection
Rehabilitation
Biodiversity conservation
Recreational and educational opportunities

Blue Carbon projects types

 

Mangroves

Mangrove projects involve the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems, which are highly effective at carbon sequestration and removal. Conservation efforts focus on protecting existing mangroves from deforestation, pollution, and coastal development. Restoration activities include cleaning canals and planting mangrove saplings in degraded areas or where mangroves have been lost. 
 
Mangroves sequester carbon through organic matter accumulation in their roots and sediment. These projects improve hydrological flows in the tidal area, provide coastal protectionsupport fisherieswildlife habitats, and contribute to local livelihoods through sustainable resource use.
 
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Seagrass and seaweed farming

Seagrass and seaweed farming projects entail the cultivation and management of seagrass meadows and seaweed beds for carbon sequestration. Seagrass meadows sequester carbon through the uptake and storage of carbon dioxide in their leaves and roots. Seaweed beds absorb carbon dioxide from the water column through photosynthesis.

These projects involve the establishment of underwater plots where seagrass or seaweed is cultivated, often utilizing nets or ropes.

By expanding seagrass meadows and seaweed beds, these projects enhance carbon storage, improve water quality, enhance marine biodiversity, and provide habitats for marine organisms.

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Microalgae

Microalgae projects focus on cultivating microscopic algae to capture carbon dioxide and generate biomass. This is typically done in controlled environments, such as photobioreactors or open ponds, where the algae can efficiently carry out photosynthesis. 

Microalgae absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and convert it into organic matter, effectively sequestering carbon. The harvested biomass can be used for various purposes, including biofuel production, food supplements, or as a nutrient-rich source for livestock feed. Micro-algae projects offer high growth rates, scalability, and the potential to provide sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel-based products.
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A project example: Mangrove Conservation and Restoration in San Crisanto

Sub-category project typology: Mangroves

The Mangrove Conservation and Restoration in San Crisanto project covers around 700 hectares of mangrove restoration and conservation as well as numerous activities to preserve biodiversity, sustainably manage natural resources, build community capacity and improve the delivery of healthcare and education services. The primary focus is cleaning and maintaining local canals and cenotes to prevent siltation, which has detrimental effects on the health of local ecosystems. Clear, open canals also enable the community to provide boat trips and wildlife observation excursions to tourists visiting the area, an important source of income. The foundation also undertakes annual evaluations of mangroves and assessments of changes in fish populations, bird species, and crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) monitoring to track the impacts of its conservation work.

The Mangrove Conservation and Restoration in San Crisanto project, which was registered under Climate Action Reserve’s Mexico Forest Protocol, is the first of its kind in Mexico. To date, the project includes four reporting periods, and an estimated 35,528 tCO2have been removed by the project. It is an example of assisted natural regeneration, where local communities intervene to help native vegetation to naturally recover.

Mangrove forest
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60 jobs

generated by reforestation efforts

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66% of mangroves

lost in hurricanes and restored since 2017

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167 protected species

of resident, migratory and endemic birds

30% of local students

pursue higher education and technical degrees

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