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Conservation International Statement on the Creation of the Global Blue Carbon Coalition

February 11, 2022

Brest, France (Feb. 11, 2022) – Conservation International CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan released the following statement today in response to the creation of the Global Blue Carbon Coalition which was announced today at the One Ocean Summit taking place in Brest, France:

“Mangroves have long been Earth’s forgotten forests. Though these swampy ecosystems exist only in narrow bands of coastline, they are climate powerhouses: They can capture ten times more carbon per hectare than terrestrial forests. However, coastal forests can take generations, even centuries, to fully regenerate. If their carbon is released, it’s lost for the rest of our lives — and already, humans have destroyed half of the world’s mangrove cover. 

“Fortunately, we have proven tools for protecting, managing and restoring these vital ‘blue carbon’ sinks. For the last decade, Conservation International has been laying the scientific and policy groundwork for high-quality, verifiable blue carbon programs. Our work in Cispata, Colombia is yielding incredible return-on-investment — simultaneous benefits for biodiversity, climate and communities — and it is creating a lifeline for mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses everywhere.

“The coming years could be a breakout moment for blue carbon — but only if we can scale projects responsibly. In that spirit, we are excited to announce a global coalition on blue carbon alongside the Government of France, the Government of Costa Rica, the government of Colombia, AXA, Bank of America, Blue Ventures, Climate Asset Management, IUCN, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance, and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative. IOC-Unesco, HSBC and Verra will be part of the initial working group. We plan on reaching more partners in the coming weeks. This partnership will align investors and implementers around shared principles and priorities. It will fill scientific gaps, build technical capacity in key countries, and establish strong global standards. And it will result in a vast portfolio of high-quality blue carbon projects, which will accelerate the growth of climate financing to support biodiversity and communities globally.

“As carbon finance evolves, we are standing on the cusp of one of the great economic transformations in human history. To see it through — and fundamentally shift what we value as a society — we will need international cooperation. Blue carbon ecosystems are found in more than 150 countries, which means we can all be part of the solution. My deepest gratitude goes out to President Macron for blazing this trail alongside us.”

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About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through fieldwork, science, policy, and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive alongside each other. Follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.