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Full Economic Potential of Carbon-Rich Mangroves Remains Untapped


The economic costs at the time of the research include US $ 11,286 per hectare in seawall replacement, and US $ 7,142 per hectare in benefits for protection of rural infrastructure against shoreline erosion (US $ 151,948 per hectare for urban mangroves).

The social costs are even greater for the region. As calculated by the Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon, for the year 2015, the lower end estimate of the social cost of carbon is likely to be US $ 15,588 per hectare, with the higher estimates coming in at US $ 151,983 per hectare.

This means that with 437,300 hectares of mangroves, the climate benefits from Central African mangroves could reach US $ 66 billion at upper estimates. While these are not values that can be capitalized upon in a marketplace, they are values that are relevant to the global economy, and especially for local communities.

Fortunately, as efforts to conserve and restore mangroves receive greater attention worldwide, new satellite technology has been tested and proven effective in the monitoring of mangrove restoration.

In another study conducted by UNEP, “Monitoring the Restoration of Mangrove Ecosystems from Space”, around 70 per cent of project sites assessed showed positive restoration results, preventing the release of significant emissions of C02 into the atmosphere.

Combined with on the ground surveys, the satellite remote sensing technology could help policy makers monitor, evaluate, and where necessary take corrective action to ensure the restoration and conservation of mangroves worldwide.

Key Report Takeaways

Guiding Principles for Delivering Coastal Wetland Carbon Projects

  • Coastal wetlands policy and management interventions can be deployed in all coastal settings to improve reductions in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and removals.
  • Mangroves and temperate tidal forests can be the focus of REDD+ actions, depending upon national definition of forest.
  • The consequences of sea level rise need to be recognized and accounted for when planning and enacting coastal wetlands carbon interventions.
  • Conservation of existing intact coastal wetlands carbon ecosystems is technically the simplest and most effective mechanism to manage carbon stocks, and provides the greatest ecosystem benefits.
  • There are only limited examples of coastal wetlands carbon ecosystem restoration interventions that account fully for GHG and access carbon markets for finance.
  • The technical ability to successfully restore coastal wetland ecosystems today is available on a global level, even if it is not always applied.
  • To achieve a successful intervention, coastal wetland conservation or restoration should be planned with a landscape response to climate change in mind.
  • Project success is greatly increased if local community engagement and capacity building predates or accompanies the intervention. Examples of good practice exist. 

Key Report Takeaways

Carbon Pools and Multiple Benefits of Mangroves in Central Africa – Assessment for REDD+

  • Explore the potential for including mangroves in the national definition of forests for each of the countries in the region, in order for this ecosystem to be eligible for inclusion in national REDD+ strategies.
  • Include mangrove regions and pilot projects in national REDD+ strategies.
  • Understand and analyze mangrove-specific drivers of deforestation.
  • Develop national priorities for mangrove action in the region through a stakeholder engagement process with governments, private sector, civil society, and local communities.
  • National priorities can provide the basis for decisions on activities to support through REDD+ strategies.
  • Implement the newly-developed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change GHG Inventory Guidelines on wetlands in order to include mangroves in national Greenhouse Gas Inventories and National Communications to the UNFCCC.


Check the following links to read/download the Full Reports:

Guiding Principles for Delivering Coastal Wetland Carbon Projects

Carbon Pools and Multiple Benefits of Mangroves in Central Africa Assessment for REDD+

Monitoring the Restoration of Mangrove Ecosystems from Space


Source: UNEP.