At a glance
Located within the biodiverse south-east coast of the Sindh province in Pakistan, the Delta Blue Carbon Project is the world's largest mangrove restoration project. The project aims to restore 226,000 hectares of degraded mangrove lands in the Indus Delta in partnership with the local communities. The biodiverse area holds immense potential for climate change mitigation due to its multifunctionality and essential ecosystem services. Mangroves store up to five times as much organic carbon as tropical upland forests, making their protection and sustainable management of high importance. Besides being a hub for indigenous species and vital fisheries, the region sustains coastal villagers' livelihoods through mangrove-related fishing. The project focuses on rehabilitating and restoring degraded mangrove lands through ‘assisted natural regeneration’ alongside active replanting. Additionally, it will enhance livelihoods by increasing employment and promoting investments in health, water, education, and food security.
Pakistan is without doubt at the frontline of climate change. The country lays in an arid and semi-arid region making it one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the negative consequences of climate change. The Indus Delta Area faces the greatest vulnerability, as unregulated practices like fuelwood and fodder collection, alongside with livestock grazing, have led to extensive degradation of mangrove forests. Prioritizing the protection, rehabilitation, and sustainable management of these tidal wetlands has become an environmental imperative for local authorities. The project's objective is to mitigate 142 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions over 60 years. It does so by safeguarding the existing 102.000 hectares of mangrove forests and revitalizing another 226.000 hectares of degraded lands through Mangrove Stewardship Agreements with local forest-dependent communities. The restoration of these degraded coastal mangroves will significantly enhance climate change adaptation benefits for regional biodiversity. Restoring the degraded coastal mangroves will significantly improve climate change adaptation benefits for the biodiversity in the region.
The Indus eco-region ranks among the world's top 40 most biodiverse ecosystems and holds the prestigious title of a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). The region is home to 11 globally threatened species according to the IUCN Red List, including the Indus River dolphin, the Indian pangolin, and the fishing cat. Beyond its rich biodiversity, it serves as a lifeline, providing clean water and mitigating floods for habitats and coastal communities. The project contributes to protecting and enhancing ecosystem and biodiversity services through restoration and sustainable management of degraded areas, increased and effective law enforcement, community awareness efforts, and training and capacity-building activities of communities and other stakeholders. The project introduced mangroves and biodiversity Conservation Stewardship Agreements with the local communities transforming the locals into the front-line defenders for biodiversity conservation. So far, an area of 86,409 hectares has been replanted.
The project area comprises 60 coastal villages with about 49.000 people, relying heavily on natural resources and fishing. Over 70% of the population here lives in poverty, earning less than $1.25 per day. Essential necessities like safe drinking water, education, healthcare, and suitable housing are often lacking, leaving these communities vulnerable to disasters like floods and droughts. The project's community development efforts are dedicated to improving the well-being of these local communities, especially women and marginalized groups, providing both short-term and long-term benefits. For instance, between 2015 and 2021, the project created jobs for 10,410 people in tree planting operations and supported a quarter of the 35.796 fishing community. The project also educates communities on sustainable fishing, natural resource management, climate-smart agriculture, and livestock grazing. Moreover, it focuses on improved community health by ensuring clean drinking water, sanitation, and improved education.
Location of the project
This project is verified by Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). VCS was established in 2007 and is a full-fledged carbon offset program developed and run by the non-profit Verra. It focuses on GHG reduction attributes only and does not require projects to have additional environmental or social benefits. The VCS is broadly supported by the carbon offset industry (project developers, large offset buyers, verifiers, and projects consultants) and is active globally.
United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals
As a Regreener contributor your money directly goes towards supporting projects that are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Here are the goals recognised by this project: