Coastal and marine ecosystems, including mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and saltwater marshes support livelihoods and wellbeing across the globe. These ‘blue forests’ provide many valuable services, including shoreline protection, essential fisheries habitat, and marine biodiversity. Blue forests also store and sequester atmospheric carbon to help mitigate climate change. The Blue Forests Project is the first global-scale assessment of the values associated with coastal carbon and ecosystem services. Silvestrum staff serve as co-chairs and/or members of advisory panels on carbon science and policy. Silvestrum is preparing synthesis reports on blue carbon policy intervention opportunities, identifying tools for project implementation, and developing lessons learned to support broader application and opportunities for scaling up.
Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Universite de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO), GRID-Arendal and many others
GEF Blue Forests
A component of the Conservation International, Governments of Guyana and Suriname and Silvestrum project to establish a shared process for North Brazil Shelf Integrated Coastal Management, recognizing the prevalence, socio-ecological importance and connectivity of mangroves, in retention of key ecosystem services to communities between the North Brazil Shelf countries. Silvestrum completed a blue carbon inventory and development of potential revenue streams. The mangrove area of the NBS represents a substantial carbon stock. Silvestrum evaluated the potential of the local ecosystems to contribute to climate change mitigation by exploring their ability to sequester carbon and their role as important national carbon sinks. Tasks included 1) a review of NBS mangrove ecological structure, function, and key environmental factors regarding carbon sequestration and storage potential; 2) dimensioning of NBS mangrove potential as carbon sinks; and 3) dimensioning NBS mangrove carbon value.
Conservation International , Global Environment Facility, IUCN-Sur
Setting the foundations for zero net loss of the mangroves that underpin human wellbeing in the North Brazil Shelf
This catalyst project takes the next step by demonstrating the feasibility of including carbon finance in funding strategies that support the conservation and restoration of tidal wetlands, eelgrasses, and coastal lowland sea level rise buffer areas in the Pacific Northwest. By evaluating the viability of blue carbon projects at two sites in Washington (Snohomish and Skagit Estuaries) and one in Oregon (Coos Estuary), the project team is advancing local stakeholders’ understanding of next steps for blue carbon management and financing opportunities for land management actions in coastal communities.
National Estuary Research Reserve System Science Collaborative, Institute of Applied Ecology
Feasibility Planning for Pacific Northwest Blue Carbon Finance Projects
Nature-based approaches are now components to a multi-billion dollar industry globally, but experience is concentrated in a few locations. To improve success rate of projects, and stimulate the flow of financial resources, this project documents best practice in linking restoration science with the practice of conserving and restoring coastal wetlands.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature
Conceptual Models to Support Planning, Implementation and Verification of Nature-Based Approaches to Restore and Conserve Blue Carbon Ecosystems
The Blue Carbon Monitoring System Project evaluated the relative uncertainty of iterative modeling approaches to estimate coastal wetland (marsh and mangrove) carbon stocks and fluxes based on changes in wetland distributions, using nationally available datasets (Landsat) and as well as finer scale satellite and field derived data in six sentinel sites. Dr Steve Crooks served as a Principal Investigator charged with linking the science developed by 20 collaborators to the US National Inventory of GHG Emissions and Sinks, and broader science and policy context. Research outputs published in Nature Scientific Reports and Environmental Research letters.
National Blue Carbon Monitoring System
Silvestrum investigated the status of coastal blue carbon ecosystems across East Asia to identify opportunities for countries to reduce climate change pressures and support the long-term well-being of coastal communities. The investigation examined the science and policy opportunities of blue carbon for East Asian countries, with a focus on advancing existing climate change commitments and improving sustainable coastal management through the conservation and restoration of coastal wetlands. For this investigation, Dr. Steve Crooks and Dr. Moritz von Unger gathered a number of global- and country-scale data sources to assess the total extent of lost coastal wetlands, remaining extent, and the rate of loss of remaining wetlands.
PEMSEA, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International
Understanding Strategic Coastal Blue Carbon in the Seas of East Asia