Programmes > Blue Carbon > Overview

Blue Carbon


Blue Carbon refers to the carbon linked to natural coastal and marine ecosystems. These ecosystems can aid in the mitigation of climate change by fixing and storing atmospheric carbon. Blue Carbon ecosystems include tidal marshlands, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows, all of which are not only naturally beautiful but also filter pollution, house fish nurseries and buffer shorelines against storms. The sustainable management of Blue Carbon ecosystems can improve livelihoods and help mitigate climate change effects and increase resilience.

GRID-Arendal aims to promote the sustainable management of Blue Carbon ecosystems by improving our understanding of its value and connection to related ecosystem services. These values will then be translated into improved management.

Main Activities in 2016

GRID-Arendal employs a global approach to Blue Carbon focused on capacity building in developing countries. We actively explore partnerships and support UNEP’s mission and Blue Carbon Initiative. Our major efforts include:

  • The GEF/UNEP Blue Forests Project, a global initiative to explore the value of Blue Carbon and related ecosystem services with project sites in Madagascar, Indonesia, Ecuador, Mozambique, UAE, Kenya, and Central America. The project will provide address key knowledge gaps in our understanding of Blue Carbon and provide tools for global uptake of project results.
  • GRID-Arendal is conducting a feasibility study for blue carbon in West Africa in conjunction with the Abidjan Convention Secretariat.  The report will allow the Secretariat to evaluate the feasibility of blue carbon projects in the region and decide where projects might be easily started or included into on-going efforts.  The Convention for Cooperation in the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Atlantic Coast of the West, Central and Southern Africa Region (Abidjan Convention in short), covers a marine area from Mauritania to South Africa, a coastline of just over 14,000 km.

The Blue Carbon Portal

GRID-Arendal has, together with UNEP and other partners, created the Blue Carbon Portal, the world’s premier comprehensive community-based website for all matters related to blue carbon. Everyone interested or engaged in blue carbon activities are welcome to participate in the development of the site.