Photo: Courtesy Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures, an IPBC Partner, is supporting a project in Madagascar that’s one of the largest mangrove carbon conversation projects in the world. Read more about how this work is protecting Madagascar’s mangrove forests while also helping to improve the lives of people in local communities.

The Tahiry Honko project in the Bay of Assassins in southwest Madagascar is the first mangrove carbon sequestration project in Madagascar. The project is also one of the largest mangrove conservation carbon projects in the world.

The project is helping to tackle climate breakdown while also bringing sustainable economic benefits to local peopleby empowering communities to sustainably manage their valuable mangrove ecosystems.

Monetising the carbon stored in the mangroves, and improving forestry management.

Mangrove ecosystems bring a host of benefits to millions of people in Madagascar as they are sources of food, building materials and fuelwood. They also provide livelihoods and protection for local communities from storms and coastal erosion.

The tremendous value of mangroves to coastal communities is matched only by the extraordinary amount of carbon they store. This stored ‘blue carbon’ is vital in the fight against climate change and has considerable value on the voluntary carbon offset market.

However many people who depend on mangroves are often living in conditions of extreme poverty, with the average person in Madagascar living on less than $2 a day. With few economically viable livelihood options, aquaculture and demand for timber and charcoal have led to extensive mangrove deforestation, and this deforestation is damaging coastlines and livelihoods.

The principal objective of the Tahiry Honko project is to help local communities realise the financial value of the stored carbon in the local mangrove ecosystems. To do so, Blue Ventures have been helping local communities to sustainably managing their mangrove forests, and protect their carbon deposits from being released as emissions.

While the blue carbon offset market is still in its infancy, Blue Ventures have been supporting local people to develop sustainable enterprises that help them protect mangrove ecosystems, while also improving their quality of life.

Working with responsible commercial partners Blue Ventures have helped to establish businesses such as sea cucumber and seaweed aquaculture and bee-keeping, while also providing monitoring, training and employment opportunities as part of the project’s conservation and blue carbon schemes.

These initiatives have helped to deliver rapid and enduring benefits to local communities in addition to the expected future income from carbon credits. They also help to protect and conserve the environment by reducing dependency on mangrove harvests and supporting sustainable fishing practices.

The tremendous value of mangroves to coastal communities is matched only by the extraordinary amount of carbon they store.