The Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund (BCAF) supports the development of blue carbon restoration and conservation projects in countries outside Australia and help pave the way for private sector finance.
Australia is working in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to deliver the BCAF and support on-the-ground restoration and conservation activities.
The BCAF builds on the strong work and templates for success of the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) and will be managed in parallel to the BNCFF.
The Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund provides funds for:
- Readiness support that will help project developers with activities to get projects ready for implementation and future private sector finance.
At the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference, the first successful projects for readiness support were announced.
Project Proponent Project Summary What BCAF will achieve Benin
This project is aiming to use carbon credits to help finance the conservation and protection of mangrove forests in Bouche du Roy, a MAB UNESCO biosphere reserve. With the support of BCAF, the project will go through an extensive feasibility assessment process to determine if it can meet certification requirements – a key first step towards attracting further investment in the project and eventually selling carbon credits in the voluntary market. Madagascar
UNIMA, WWF and TERAKA
This project is planning to protect and restore 2,000 ha of mangrove forest across three sites on the north-western coast of Madagascar. Between 2000 and 2018, Madagascar experienced an overall net loss of mangroves of nearly 60,000 ha, which corresponds to a loss of 20% of its mangrove area. Beyond the protection and restoration of mangroves and the development of a new income stream from carbon credits, this project will also help increase fish stocks, protect freshwater and increase habitat for biodiversity, including threatened species (as classified by the IUCN Red List). The mangroves will also provide a basis for crab farming, offering further income opportunities for local communities. Peru
Consorcio Manglares del Noroeste del Perú
In Peru, a partnership formed by six artisanal fisher’s organisations has been in charge of managing the National Sanctuary Manglares de Tumbes since 2018. The Sanctuary protects the largest area of mangrove forest in Peru and is a Ramsar site. With the support of BCAF funding, the project will be able to verify the carbon sink capacity of the area and pursue certification, which will allow the project to start selling certificates in the voluntary market. In addition, BCAF will also help fund a master plan for the management of the area, as well as a business plan that will ensure financially sustainable management of the area. Philippines
Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Coast4C
In the Philippines, ZSL and Coast4C are working to combine their proven conservation and rehabilitation approaches to protect and restore large areas of mangrove forest using their assisted natural regeneration approach. With the support of BCAF, the project will conduct a detailed feasibility assessment to determine the financial viability of scaling up and commercialising their blue carbon project. The feasibility assessment will include technical mapping and carbon modelling, as well as commercial analysis, and is a crucial first step towards carbon certification.
- Implementation support for on-the-ground blue carbon ecosystem restoration or conservation projects that demonstrate and measure benefits for climate, biodiversity and people, and enhance the business case for private sector investment in coastal blue carbon ecosystems.
In 2023 four projects were selected to receive implementation support funding. These projects all take a community-led approach for tackling on-the-ground blue carbon ecosystem restoration and conservation.
Project Proponent Project Summary What BCAF will achieve Indonesia
Rekam Nusantara Foundation
This project by the Rekam Nusantara Foundation looks to restore mangrove forests and seagrass around three islands of the Indonesian archipelagic region. The project aims to diagnose the state of the existing ecosystems and to develop a plan for restoring, protecting and rehabilitate mangrove forests and seagrass. The BCAF will support the project leaders in developing a financial model for the long-term implementation of the project, providing guidance in setting up a blue carbon credit system, as well as developing synergies with local governments and the tourism sector. Papua New Guinea
This project led by Infinity Blue is a partnership with local communities, researchers, and authorities to develop a community-led coastal management plan for mangrove conservation supported by blue carbon credits. The project will assess the mangrove ecosystem extent and resilience through a locally led monitoring campaign, determine the carbon reduction potential of the existing mangroves, and support the community to prepare for a blue carbon project. The BCAF will support the project leaders in developing the first application of blue carbon credits in Papua New Guinea. Additionally, BCAF will support the development of a sound financial model and help with developing long-term viability of the project by clarifying the blue carbon credit standard to be implemented. Indonesia
This project led by Konservasi Indonesia is taking a mixed management solution for Marine Protected Areas, combining fisheries management, protected areas management and sustainable financing of marine protected areas.
As part of this project, local communities and authorities will be engaged in the conservation, restoration and monitoring activities, fuelling knowledge transfer and training of the local communities.
The BCAF funds will complement ongoing investment from the Indonesian Government on fisheries management and will help leverage blue carbon within the Blue Halo-S initiative. Indonesia
This project led by BlueYou is developing an approach to the management of investible regenerative aquaculture farms, combining no-input shrimp production and blue carbon credits from sequestered carbon in mangroves.
The goal is to develop 5,000ha of fishponds containing at least 50% of mangrove cover by 2030.
BCAF will support the project leaders in assessing the long-term feasibility of the financial model, and to set-up the appropriate carbon credit accreditation, all in view of supporting the scaling of the project up.
As a member of the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership (GOAP), the Australian Government is funding the GOAP Secretariat to help the selected BCAF Implementation Support projects to compile and report relevant social, economic and environmental baseline and outcome data in accounting formats that are compatible with international statistical standards.
GOAP will facilitate the development of a joint coordination plan for environmental economic accounting (EEA) services and conservation or restoration activities between IUCN, GOAP and selected BCAF projects. Find out more about these BCAF projects from the IUCN website.