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

reductions resulting from forest conservation, as a firm baseline for the transaction • verification of the carbon emissions reductions to be achieved by continued conservation in these parks, and • ongoing monitoring of forest levels and continued verification of emissions reductions. In addition to the voluntary carbon markets, opportunities may develop to draw upon the $100 billion in annual international financing committed for climate mitigation and adaptation at the Paris COP in 2015. As C prices are expected to rise, according to the most credible market predictions, country officials should continue to work with project developers and coordinators to 1) identify biophysical data availability and gaps 2) perform project-area-specific economic analyses of blue carbon conservation, and 3) identify the benefits and drawback of the various C finance and other payments-for-ecosystem-services platforms through which projects could be financed. Examples of efforts to secure blue carbon payments in West, Central and Southern Africa: Senegal In 2008, the Senegalese NGO Océanium along with the Livelihoods Fund (investors from 10 European companies), IUCN and Danone started a revegetation project based on large-scale CDM reforestation methodology to restore the shrinking mangrove forests. Their goal is to increase coastal resilience to sea-level rise, enhance local agriculture and restore fish stocks. As part of the initiative, 79millionmangrove trees have already been planted across 7,920 ha, making it the world’s largest mangrove reforestation project to date. The project has been validated by the UNFCCC Board, audited by Ernst & Young, and approved by the Senegalese authorities.

Through these efforts, some 181,200 ha of mangrove forests have been conserved in the national parks of Cacheu and Catanhez. To help leverage international finance to offset the costs of maintaining these parks and preventing mangrove deforestation and blue carbon loss, the country developed two projects in sequence to: (i) quantify carbon stocks and sink effects of these mangrove areas as an intermediate step to (ii) developing coastal adaptation financing through the wetland (blue) carbon market. These projects were funded by the Portuguese Ministry of Environment and the World Bank, respectively. As part of these efforts, satellite data were acquired, processed, and analysed and ground data were collected to verify the remotely sensed data. An economic analysis of blue carbon conservation was undertaken for the two parks, under the assumption that C credits generated from reduced emissions would be sold on the REDD+ platform. These analyses found a breakeven C price of US$ 6.69- 7.20 to undertake blue carbon conservation in the parks and other areas of the country. This range of C values is in line with those estimated in other economic analyses of mangrove conservation. The results of this study indicate lower breakeven values than the analyses for Guinea- Bissau’s parks for at least two reasons. First, this analysis does not account for carbon market transaction costs due to associated ambiguities, and second, we do account for, and “price” soil carbon losses in this analysis. Building upon this work, the next steps towards completing a blue carbon transaction on the voluntary markets in Guinea-Bissau, based on the conservation efforts in Cacheu and Catanhez national parks, would be: • validation of the mangrove and coastal forest equations necessary to accurately quantify the carbon emissions


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