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Blue Carbon Coastal Wetlands Ecosystems: Trends in NDC Partnership Support

An increasing number of countries have included commitments to protect and restore their “blue carbon” coastal wetland ecosystems – mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes – as nature-based solutions to enhance the ambition of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). These coastal wetlands, central to the livelihoods of local populations, not only help to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon, but also provide a wide range of benefits that help communities adapt and become more resilient to a changing climate, such as storm surge and flood protection benefits.  

While many countries’ previous NDCs referenced the potential of these ecosystems, very few NDCs included specific, measurable targets for the protection and restoration of their coastal wetlands prior to the 2020-2021 update.  

A new Insight Brief, jointly developed by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the NDC Partnership Support Unit, highlights the benefits that coastal wetlands can provide as nature-based solutions. The brief profiles the experience and learnings of three countries with specific and ambitious commitments to coastal wetlands (Belize, Costa Rica, and Seychelles) as case-studies, assesses and summarizes requests related to “blue carbon” coastal wetland ecosystems circulated through the NDC Partnership, and offers resources that countries considering the inclusion of coastal wetlands in their NDCs can utilize. 

Many countries are now requesting support through the NDC Partnership to conduct blue-carbon-related activities to enhance and implement their NDCs. As of July 2023, 25 countries had submitted 183 “Blue Carbon, Oceans and Coasts” requests for support from the NDC Partnership. And only 37% of these requests are supported by partners, compared to an average support rate of 55% across all sectors and themes. Supporting entities can aid countries’ efforts to conserve and restore their coastal wetlands by working with countries to identify potential sources of funding for the implementation of the coastal wetlands sections of their NDCs. 

Cover photo courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service