Exploring Blue Carbon Resilience Credits in The Bahamas

Mangroves, sea grasses and salt marshes have a quadruple bottom line. They are nurseries for a variety of marine life, capture nutrient pollution as it flows from the land into the sea, can sequester up to 10 times more carbon than terrestrial forests, and provide a protective barrier against incoming wave energy from coastal storms. Blue Carbon credits are an emerging financial mechanism designed to capture the sequestration benefits of these coastal wetlands. Resilience Credits are an innovation developed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and AXA XL to recognise the benefits of protecting and restoring these habitats in terms of adaptation to sea level rise (e.g flood reduction).

This ORRAA-supported project is aiming to transform coastal wetland management by creating both a carbon and a resilience value for mangrove ecosystems in the Caribbean. Separate Blue Carbon and Resilience Credits will – for the first time – allow corporations to offset their carbon footprint while simultaneously supporting resilience by reducing flooding in highly vulnerable coastal areas through the conservation and restoration of coastal wetlands. This will not only help protect millions of people, but also deliver multiple co-benefits, including healthier fisheries, water purification, and improved local livelihoods.

ORRAA funds will lay the foundation for what may become the first ever blue carbon initiative in The Bahamas, beginning with a market feasibility analysis to assess blue carbon and resilience credit potential from mangrove and seagrass sites. This ground-breaking initiative will create a roadmap for Blue Carbon project development in The Bahamas.

TNC is also examining additional blended funding mechanisms to allow Blue Carbon Resilience Credit projects to be established across the Caribbean.