Blue Carbon Financing of Mangrove Conservation in the Abidjan Convention Region: A Feasibility Study

specifically to help finance blue carbon. For REDD+ to be applicable to the blue carbon in mangroves, the definition of a forest must include mangroves in those countries that are seeking funding to reduce emissions from mangroves. Considering the constraints and opportunities in Table 14, the general steps recommended for securing international payments for conservation of blue carbon, and the options for incorporating these considerations into national climate mitigation efforts, the following general steps are recommended in order for West, Central and Southern African communities and governments to complete a blue carbon transaction:* 1. Establish a project proponent (i.e. developer or coordinator) with a clear organizational structure, and adequate legal and administrative capacity to undertake the blue carbon project. The need for an established legal entity to enter into agreements anddisburse funds is critical to securing financing. 2. As part of a feasibility (or pre-feasibility) study: • estimate social and technical feasibility (i.e. opportunities and barriers of community engagement, restoration best practices, anticipated GHG benefits, available methodologies, land suitability, project boundary, additionality and permanence) General steps for completing a blue carbon transaction

3. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis investigating the value of including blue carbon activities into national climate change mitigation strategies, together with a description of the short and long-term benefits of carbon-related finance and activities in coastal areas. These analyses should specifically address the issue of additionality–projects initiated before carbon payments could be paid for mangroves may not receive carbon payments if a carbon market develops.

4. Develop a blue carbon action plan addressing specific national circumstances, opportunities, needs and capacities.

5. Address power relations between men and women in the communities and implications for blue carbon payments. This is especially important in the regional context where the gender roles with respect to mangrove use differ, and benefits (payments) could differentially accrue to each group based on use or ownership of the resource. To finance these activities and projects, the literature describes multiple current blue carbon-relevant financing options (Herr, Agardy et al., 2015), including cap-and-trade under the UNFCCC, large non-UNFCCC dependent cap-and- trade schemes, such as the EuropeanUnion EmissionsTrading System (ETS), large national schemes, subnational schemes or the voluntary C market (Ullman et al., 2013). To date, only relatively smaller blue carbon demonstration projects have been funded through climate market mechanisms, specifically through the voluntary markets. Meanwhile, only the Verified Carbon Standard’s (VCS) tidal wetland and seagrass restoration methodology has been developed

* Based on the newly released VCS methodology for blue carbon restoration (VCS, 2015) and guidance on using the methodology (RAE and Silvestrum, 2015).


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