International conventions, treaties and agreements are instrumental in guiding the creation of national policies that aim to achieve goals aligning with international commitments. Policy drivers are not mutually exclusive, given the complexity of coastal blue carbon ecosystems and the number of benefits they provide it is natural for numerous drivers to exist.
Beyond the policies that relate to international frameworks, countries may also develop and implement national or subnational policies that are relevant to coastal blue carbon ecosystems. Unlike policies that relate to international frameworks, national policies may not make a direct reference to ‘blue carbon’, or may not discuss carbon sequestration potential of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, focusing instead on ecosystem services.
Governments looking to assess their national blue carbon policies may wish to apply the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s National Blue Carbon Policy Assessment Framework. The tool seeks to provide countries clear answers of whether and when climate and carbon related policies and mechanisms make sense for them, and how they can be aligned with existing coastal regulation and policies.