Blue Carbon Financing of Mangrove Conservation in the Abidjan Convention Region: A Feasibility Study
As individual blue carbon projects are developed, it will be crucial to determine the motivating factor in order to establish the project expectations, such as whether it is to obtain sustainable financing, national report strategies or a tool to better inform and motivate mangrove conservation. It cannot be overstated that it is far better to protect mangroves now than have to restore or rehabilitate them later. In short, valuable blue carbon projects could be possible within West, Central and Southern Africa, both for continuing to promote the conservation of mangroves, but also in helping to provide a source of innovative financing, while bringing to light the wealth contained in these coastal ecosystems and their values – economically, ecologically and culturally – at the community and regional levels, as well as at the global level.
Mangroves and their associated blue carbon properties cannot be considered simply as a tree type, a species grouping, a single forest or a single commodity exchangeable in the marketplace. InWest, Central and Southern Africa, amangrove is steeped in history, intertwined with the culture and represents a complex socio-ecosystem with intergenerational ramifications. For the local population, the mangrove is an area appropriated, managed and used by the group that resides upon it, draws from it their means of existence and identifies with it. Lovelock and McAllister (2013) assert that the significant challenge for governments pursuing blue carbon projects is how constructive engagement can be attained with the previously ignored local communities. There is a real risk of over-exploitation and conflicting goals by a myriad of stakeholders that must be minimized to ensure successful blue carbon projects.
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