High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance

A Triple-Benefit Investment for People, Nature, and Climate

A Global Vision for High-Quality Blue Carbon

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Friends of Ocean Action, the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), Salesforce, The Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International with the support of Meridian Institute developed the High-Quality Blue Carbon Market Principles and Guidance. They clearly describe what ‘high quality’ means for blue carbon projects and credits, to foster investments that have triple benefits for people, nature, and climate.

The Principles and Guidance provide a consistent and understandable approach to guide the development and management of blue carbon projects that are equitable, fair, and credible.

Download the recently launched High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance: A Triple-Benefit Investment for People, Nature, and Climate here.

The High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance Launched at COP27

The High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance: A Triple-Benefit Investment for People, Nature, and Climate was formally launched on November 12, 2022 at COP27 of the UNFCCC. The panel was part of the We Mean Business Coalition Pavilion and the discussion featured Salesforce, Blue Ventures, and Silvera and was moderated by World Economic Forum’s 1 Trillion Trees. This session focused on corporate pledges in support of nature-based solutions and how appropriate interventions can restore degraded ecosystems to provide benefits beyond carbon.

Watch the recording below.

Show your support and/or acknowledge your organization's role in the consultation process

Supporting the Principles and Guidance

Types of Supporters

Early Adopter:

This group is supportive of and aligned with the content within the Principles and Guidance and are committed to developing best-in-class applications of these principles and guidance. They commit to learn from one another, develop strong metrics that focus on the highest common values, not lowest common denominators, and to building a market that values people and nature.

Reviewer and Contributor:

This group is supportive and aligned with the content of the Principles and Guidance and participated in the consultation discussions during the development of this guidance.

Scroll further down to see the organizations that have joined as supporters!

How did we arrive at the Principles and Guidance?

The Principles and Guidance were directly informed by a global consultative process that consolidated existing knowledge and best practices to build a shared vision for achieving high-quality blue carbon projects and credits for all stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement brought together thought leadership by scientists, developers, investors, buyers, and certifiers to produce a set of clear, concise principles and guidance that characterize high-quality blue carbon projects and credits.

About the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance

The High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance: A Triple-Benefit Investment for People, Nature, and Climate describe what constitutes high-quality, marine conservation best practices, with the goal of preserving and restoring blue carbon ecosystems. The term 'Blue carbon' in this document refers to the intertidal ecosystems that capture and store carbon that currently have methodologies for verification and certification by an authorized certifying body. Mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and tidal marshes are the three ecosystems highlighted in this document, however we recognize additional intertidal systems are being developed for blue carbon credits; the addition of certifications for other coastal ecosystems should also strive to meet the qualities of 'high quality' that are provided in this guidance.

Download the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles & Guidance

Translations will be available soon

Press Release

'High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles & Guidance' Seeks to Drive Sustainability and Equity in the Blue Carbon Market

Support Commitment Form

Show your support for the Principles & Guidance by becoming an early adopter

Newsroom Posts & Publication Resources

Salesforce

Conservation International

World Economic Forum

Ocean Risk & Resilience Action Alliance

The Nature Conservancy

Sponsoring Organizations

Sponsoring Organizations

Early Adopters

Early Adopters

Reviewers and Contributors

Reviewers and Contributors

Quotes from Featured Supporters

Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory

“Blue carbon represents a promising opportunity to fight climate change and promote ocean health. The High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance fill a key niche in helping blue carbon leaders to create more impact in this new domain.”

Website

COROA

“We are thrilled to participate in this vital effort articulating core principles and guidance for quality blue carbon.”

Website

Fair Carbon

“Fair Carbon has been supporting this work since its inception and we are delighted to see the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance shared at COP27. The ethical approach outlined in these principles is integral to the project design support we provide and reflects our core messaging. It is our hope that this document informs and elevates due diligence procedures and best practice amongst credit buyers, promotes recognition of the higher production cost and value of high-quality blue carbon credits, and incentivizes developers to implement projects which are inclusive, fair, and scientifically credible”.

Website

goodcarbon

“We at goodcarbon support the implementation of High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance. The principles provide direction for all VCM participants on how to ensure real impact generation for climate, nature and people. They also show the challenges in the blue carbon space that can only be overcome if we work together. goodcarbon embraces these principles since they are in line with our mission and will contribute to their implementation when working together with project owners as well as with investors and buyers.”

Website

Iberostar

“The High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance allow companies like Iberostar to feel confident in supporting projects that not only sequester carbon but prioritize biodiversity and communities. At Iberostar, we have outlined a commitment to have up to 500,000 metric tonnes of carbon sequestered annually through protecting and restoring nature by 2030. This guidance helps us better design projects that ensure high value carbon that conserve valuable ecosystems for the tourism sector while also empowering communities and creating resilience through transparency and integrity.”

Website

IUCN

“The carbon market needs integrity and clear, positive impact – on carbon and beyond. IUCN is excited to work within its programmes such as the Blue Carbon Accelerator Fund (BCAF), to apply these principles with project developers and communities on the ground.”

Dorothee Herr, Manager, Oceans and Climate Change

Website

Netflix

“Blue carbon ecosystems are featured across the beloved shows on the Netflix platform and are critical for local livelihoods, biodiversity, climate resilience and carbon storage and removal. Netflix is proud to support high-quality blue carbon projects through our Net Zero + Nature program and welcomes this guidance to support and accelerate enhanced investment in these critical natural areas.”

Alexia Kelly, Director, Net Zero + Nature

Website

planblue

“As the developers of technology to allow for accurate monitoring and accounting of carbon stock in seagrass meadows, we believe strongly in the importance of transparent and meticulous carbon accounting practices. To mitigate climate change, we must protect and restore ecosystems rich in carbon, such as coastal areas. They provide critical habitats for high biodiversity, as well as storing vast amounts of carbon. Both of these elements are equally respected in the white paper. In its principles and guidelines, carbon capture is balanced with ecosystem preservation.”

Elisabeth Moore, Communications Manager

Website

Plan Vivo Foundation

“Plan Vivo welcomes these principles to guide investment into projects that put communities at the forefront of nature-based solutions. We believe that empowering and supporting communities is key to long-term success of projects, and we’re pleased that this is being represented as best practice for high-quality blue carbon credits. These principles closely align with Plan Vivo’s core values and reflect the minimum threshold for a Plan Vivo-certified project, and it’s great to see them being adopted to benefit local livelihoods, climate, and nature.”

Website

Silvestrum Climate Associates

“Blue carbon credits provide the opportunity to deliver high-value ecosystem restoration and conservation. The principles and guidance connect a partnership between high-quality projects and high-quality investors.”

Website

TogetherForTheBetterGood

“Meeting the challenges of this century requires updating our economic logic and operating system. From an obsolete ‘ego-system’ focused entirely on the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that emphasizes the well-being of the whole.”

Otto Scharmer, MIT Presencing Institute

LinkedIn Page

WeForest

“WeForest has started its first mangrove project in Senegal in 2019 (7000 hectares) and is now planning on the second phase in 2023 (3000 hectares). As a member of It.org, we are very much looking to adopting and sharing best practices in order to continue scaling our and everyone’s impact. Together Everyone Achieves More.”

Website

Wetlands International

“Wetlands International welcomes the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance to help ensure socio-environmental integrity of the Voluntary Carbon Market. This is crucial to channel much-needed finance to the coastal wetlands that are super carbon stores while also strengthening community resilience in the face of climate change.”

Femke Tonneijck, Programme Head Wetland Carbon

Website

WWF Kenya

“A well-thought out, detailed, informative. and useful tool for all actors within the blue carbon world! A collaborative proof that nature-based solutions must remain nature-, societal- and biodiversity-centered for sustainability and achievement of the Global Goal on Adaptation under the Paris Agreement.”

Website

Timeline

The draft premiered at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon on June 30, 2022, and a workshop on July 1 provided opportunities for deeper engagement. Following a public consultation period from July through September, the final High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance: A Triple-Benefit Investment for People, Nature, and Climate was published on November 8.  

June 30  |  Blue Carbon: Charting the Path for Governance and Partnerships 

  • Official Blue Zone side event that engaged participants to provide feedback for the refinement and adoption of the principles and guidance. 
  • Watch the recording here

July 1  |  Workshop: High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance 

  • Deep-dive 3-hour workshop to discuss blue carbon in multi-stakeholder groups. Participants had the opportunity to talk about challenges and opportunities in the blue carbon market and provide direct feedback on the draft High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance for consideration in revisions of the draft.
  • About 50 participants joined the workshop, representing funders, developers, buyers, investors, NGOs, and governments.

July & August  |  Public consultation 

  • Collected guidance of dozens of organizations and individuals active in the blue carbon realm, via roundtable discussions and workshops, a global consultation process, and interviews.

September  |  Review process and endorsement engagement

  • Feedback gathered during the consultation period is taken under consideration in revisions of the principles and guidance. The draft will be reviewed by project partners, in preparation for publication in late October 2022.
  • Formal endorsement outreach begins with reengagement of participants who made contributions throughout the development of the principles and guidance.

NovemberFinal draft published and launch event at COP27

  • The High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance: A Triple Benefit Investment for People, Nature, and Climate was published on November 8.
  • The launch of the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance will take place on November 12 at the We Mean Business Pavilion.