Guiding principles for delivering coastal wetland carbon projects

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Coastal "blue carbon" ecosystems including mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows are an important part of the global carbon cycle. They provide a wide range of ecosystem services that underpin coastal livelihoods and support adaptation to climate change, including habitat and food chain support for many species of commercial fish, nutrient recycling, shoreline stabilization, storm protection and flood attenuation. These ecosystem services provide a basis for development of interventions that conserve and restore coastal wetlands for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
This document provides knowledge-based guidance for a range of interventions, including policy actions, adjusted management actions or project-based investments that lead to improved coastal wetlands conditions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Drawing on lessons learned and case studies from coastal wetland management and restoration as well as terrestrial carbon projects, guiding principles are identified. In view of the high potential for inclusion of coastal wetland management in climate change mitigation strategies, consideration is given to including coastal wetland management under existing and evolving mechanisms, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).
This guidance supports policy makers, coastal management practitioners and civil society organizations in designing projects and activities in coastal wetlands that synergize adaptation and mitigation objectives. Wetland conservation and restoration can be scaled up to establish multiuse functional landscapes integrating community activities in balance with sustaining environmental conditions.

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