Mangrove Restoration, Delta Blue Carbon

Welcome to the largest blue carbon project in the world! Delta Blue Carbon is the largest mangrove forest restoration project in the world. Once a thriving ecosystem, in recent decades the mangroves were devastated by large-scale deforestation. The mangroves were used as fuel wood and fodder, with further damage caused by open-range grazing by livestock. The Delta Blue project works to protect the crucial mangrove ecosystem from these threats, sequester carbon, and preserve crucial peatland biodiversity.

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Project information

Indus Delta mangroves

The Project area sits on the fifth largest delta in the world and is one of WWF’s Global 200 Ecoregions of crucial importance. The area falls within the Green Route of migratory birds and plays a key role in coastal stabilisation and sustenance for local fishing communities in the area. Between 1950-2000, human land use and industrial activity destroyed the biological productivity of the wetland increasing vulnerability for biodiversity and people. 


To respond to these threats, the Delta Blue Project was started via a public-private partnership to restore the Sindh Indus Delta Region. Six years since its inception, the project has restored 73,000 ha of degraded mangrove forests, benefiting 43,000 locals and will sequester a total of over 127 million tCO2e over the Project’s lifetime. 


Project location on map

Intervention

Mangrove Restoration

Location

Pakistan

Standards

VCS, CCB

Methodology

VM0033

Sustainable Goals

  • no poverty
  • zero hunger
  • good health
  • quality education
  • gender equality
  • clean water
  • clean energy
  • economic growth
  • infrastructure
  • reduced inequality
  • sustainable cities
  • responsible consumption
  • climate action
  • life below water
  • life on land
  • peace justice
  • partnerships

Project performance

The Earthly Rating

The Earthly rating is the industry-first holistic project assessment. Earthly researchers analyse 106 data points, aggregating information across the three vital pillars of carbon, biodiversity and people. Projects in Earthly's marketplace all exceed a minimum score of 5/10.

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Carbon

5,437,031.84

Tonnes of CO2 sequestered since the start of the project

Biodiversity

83,034

Hectares of restored biodiversity habitat

Social

24,099

People benefiting from improved protection from storm surges and other coastal hazards

Project impact

Local Impact

Delta Blue

The image illustrates the changes in the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from 2010 to 2020. Normalised Difference Vegetation Index represents the health of the ecosystem within the project area. For instance, in a forested project, the greener the NDVI across time, the healthier or more protected the area would be. Assessing the health of vegetation using NDVI is a widely accepted practice in various ecosystems, including mangrove forests. NDVI values above 0.7 are considered indicative of "good health" vegetation.

Project Area: Through Time

Mangroves play a crucial role in coastal storm and flood protection especially in Pakistan, which is among the top countries in the Long-Term Climate Risk Index. Declining mangrove cover and a damaged wetland ecosystem has significantly lowered this region’s capacity to provide climate resilience to people affected by regular flooding events in Pakistan.

Based on the image we can know that the project area is a mangrove coastal area which is marked by a white outline. In this image, the NDVI values range between 0.6 and 0.8 over the years, suggesting that the vegetation remained healthy since the start of the project in 2015. Additionally, there is an increasing amount of healthier vegetation, indicating growth and expansion of the mangrove forest between 2010 and 2020.

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Positive for People

The project area surrounds 60 fishing villages inhabited by 42,000 fishing villagers.  70% of the inhabitants fall below the poverty line (over 70% of the population survive on less than $1.25 a day), with high illiteracy rates (31 villages have literacy rates less than 0.1%) and have poor access to health and clean drinking water services.

A Social and Biodiversity Impact Assessment (SBIA) was conducted to design the Social Activities for the Project. This includes but is not limited to improving access to education and hiring local personnel for capacity building activities. The project will employ 1000 locals to help carry out the project, 400 of whom will be women. Proceeds from the project are invested in improving educational outcomes for people such as setting up transportation services for small children to access education, and initiating an adult literacy program. The project has already provided clean drinking water access for up to 500 people a day.

Fishing Stewardship Communities (FSCs) have been established to ensure that fishermen are duly compensated, have adequate market access and perform fishing in accordance with sustainable harvesting practices. In addition, the project supports skills-based employment activities such as crab farming/aquaculture, livestock rearing, training for sorting, processing and marketing fish – as well as providing cold storage facilities and new fishing nets.

All activities will directly contribute to a better standard of living for the local communities that are increasingly facing threats of climate change.

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Good for Earth

The Project has identified the core issue causing degradation of the Indus Delta as “poor appreciation of biodiversity value”. Project activities for biodiversity have thus been designed to tackle these through four broad themes: wetland restoration, habitat security enhancement, sustainable land use and improved awareness and advocacy. 

Already, 73,125 ha within the Project has been replanted and Mangrove Stewardship Agreements signed with communities to improve protection and care for the planted mangrove saplings. Also, communities are being organised into Village Development Communities (VDCs) to protect and improve monitoring of the key biodiversity.

The first monitoring report has already noted an improvement in 11 globally threatened species, including the Indus River dolphin, the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin, the Indian pangolin and the fishing cat, and for numerous other migratory birds, mammals, reptiles and fish in the region. Climate benefits have been observed through reduced occurrence and intensity of climate-related hazards due to the fact that the planted mangroves attenuate the wave energy of storms surges, and thus reduce the damaging effects of floods and slow the progression of saline water into inland areas.

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Project Pictures

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