What’s the big deal about Mangroves and Blue Carbon?
Blue carbon is the carbon sequestered and stored in coastal and marine ecosystems including mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal marshes. In these unique ecosystems, carbon is stored in both the plants and the sediment below.
Mangroves, seagrasses and, tidal marshes can be found on every continent in the world (except Antarctica) and they store a tremendous amount of carbon. Some experts believe Mangrove forests store up to 8 times as much carbon as land forests – wow!
This means that when Mangrove forests are protected they store a vast amount of carbon, which is great for battling climate change. But, when destroyed, they release the carbon they’ve been storing for centuries and emit greenhouse gases which further contributes to global warming – yikes!
According to TheBlueCarbonIniative.org, “experts estimate that carbon emissions from Mangrove deforestation account for up to 10% of emissions from deforestation globally, despite covering just .7% of land coverage.” This is why it’s vital to protect these incredible forests.
If you weren’t already convinced about the importance of Mangroves in combating climate change, these forests also directly impact water quality, support marine biodiversity, and allow for healthy fisheries that coastal communities rely on for food security. Last but not least, they serve as a natural barriers providing protection from flooding and storms.
Considering the awe-inspiring role of Mangroves, we’ve teamed up with the Association for Coastal Ecosystem Services (ACES) to allow YOU to directly protect Mangroves by purchasing Blue Carbon offsets through the Mikoko Pamoja programme.
Why should I purchase Blue Carbon offsets?
With the climate emergency, many of us are looking for ways to live more planet-friendly. Lifestyle changes are obviously the best way to make a MASSIVE and immediate difference, but carbon offsets are a great way to give your efforts an added boost or to compensate for a specific activity – like flying!
While there are loads of different offset programmes, we are super excited to be partnering with ACES and the Mikoko Pamoja project to be able to sell carbon credits that provide socially just protection for Mangrove forests.
What is the Mikoko Pamoja Project?
Mikoko Pamoja means “Mangroves Together,” and is a pioneering, community-based mangrove conservation and restoration project based in Gazi Bay, Kenya.
Through the sale of carbon credits, the project protects and replants Mangrove forests to help combat climate change and support marine biodiversity. Sales also fund community development projects to support local residents whose livelihoods are dependent upon these coastal ecosystems.
So far, the project has led to savings of 12,000t in C02 emissions and over 10,000 Mangrove seedlings have been planted. Development projects have bought over 600 textbooks for 2 local schools, supported education programmes for students and members of the public, and have provided clean water for over 4,500 people. In 2017, 148 employment opportunities for monitoring activities were created.
Since its inception in 2013, Mikoko Pamoja has attracted international attention, being awarded the prestigious Equator Prize by the UNDP in 2017, and has gained support from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
About the Association for Coastal Ecosystem Services (ACES)
ACES is a UK-based NGO that manages the Mikoko Pamoja project protecting the coastal Mangrove forests of southern Kenya.
ACES projects not only protect the forest, but also support the local community who depend on the Mangroves for their livelihoods. People who would have otherwise cut Mangrove timber for firewood or to sell as their sole source of income are provided with an alternative, more sustainable source of timber. The development projects are chosen by the community and have included building wells and purchasing school books to benefit everyone who lives within the project area.
Buying offsets from ACES via echo shoppe means that you will fund both mangrove conservation and community development helping to deliver socially just environmental protection and restoration.
Learn more about carbon footprints? Check out our Blog!