Mangroves belong to the world’s most essential ecosystems and yet they have long been one of the earth’s most threatened habitats. FORLIANCE is working together with Gold Standard on developing a methodology to protect and restore mangroves.
The importance of the Blue Carbon ecosystem
Blue carbon ecosystems are the world’s largest emission sinks. These ecosystems sequester and store more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests. When these systems are damaged, an enormous amount of carbon is emitted back into the atmosphere.
Protecting and restoring coastal habitats is a pressing matter and an important step to take towards climate protection. By protecting these systems, we not only ensure that they stay as long-term carbon sinks. We enable healthy coastal environments that provide various benefits. Some examples of these are recreational opportunities, storm protection, and nursery habitat for commercial and recreational fisheries. Mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs work as a continuous system that keeps coastal zones healthy and provide essential habitat for thousands of species. By stabilizing shorelines, this ecosystem prevents erosion and protects the land and the people who live there.
Mangroves – Key actors in the coastal ecosystem
Mangroves and mangrove associates are considered a keystone in the interaction of the coastal ecosystem. Mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs work together in a special kind of ensemble.The trees trap sediment and pollutants that would otherwise flow out to sea. Seagrass beds provide a further barrier to silt and mud that could smother the reefs. In return, the reefs protect the seagrass beds and mangroves from strong ocean waves. Without mangroves, this incredibly productive ecosystem would collapse.
Taking concrete steps towards mangrove restoration and protection together with Gold Standard
We at FORLIANCE are currently developing a sustainable mangrove methodology together with Gold Standard. The methodology will include innovations in the remote sensing and geographic information sectors combined with the participatory stakeholder engagement to address the sustainable management of the mangrove ecosystem. This innovative methodology will incorporate alternative monitoring and reporting approaches to overcome the increased complexity and risk associated with in-person monitoring. Furthermore, it will be assured that projects address the drivers that lead to mangrove loss to ensure positive impacts on local stakeholders, biodiversity, and the permanence of carbon stocks. The methodology is planned to be approved as early as Q1 2022.