The global collaboration between the Global Environment Facility, UN Environment, GRID-Arendal and partners has proven valuable in helping nations realize the climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits from the protection and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems.The Value of Blue Forests"Blue forests" refers to coastal and marine ecosystems and, includes mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and tidal salt marshes. The conservation and restoration of these ecosystems is important in addressing the impacts of global climate change, as they are highly efficient in sequestering carbon and protecting coastlines. Researchers have found that these ecosystems can store up to ten times as much carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests and that healthy mangrove forests helped save lives during the 2004 Asia tsunami disaster. In addition, they help support coastal and island communities around the world by providing fish habitat, filtering water, and providing opportunities for tourism and recreation.The Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN Environment and many other partners are playing a key role in helping countries recognize the climate values of these ecosystems and in support of the goals of the Paris Agreement through the Blue Forests Project. This project is global partnership initiative exploring how to harness the values associated with coastal carbon and related ecosystem services to achieve climate resilient and sustainable communities.The project is implemented by GRID-Arendal on behalf of UN Environment and includes the expertise of partners such as Blue Ventures, Conservation International-Ecuador, WWF-Mozambique, Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), the Governments of Indonesia and Kenya, World Conservation Monitoring Center (WCMC), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and others. It includes coordinated on-the-ground activities in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Thailand, United States of America, and United Arab Emirates. Additionally, the project investigates key scientific knowledge gaps, and provides experience and tools for greater global application.To build regional awareness and momentum, the project recently held a workshop in Latin America and Caribbean, bringing together international researchers, project managers, regional policymakers, and academics to emphasize the need to work with local coastal communities to protect coastal ecosystems and promote the recognition of and harness the economic value of coastal ecosystems and blue forests.The project also explores how blue carbon or blue forests, as recent concepts in marine conservation and climate change, may present new opportunities to advance gender mainstreaming. For example, on International Women Day, March 8th 2017, many of the women working on blue carbon that are involved in the Blue Forests Project were featured on Twitter using the hashtag “#WomenofBlueCarbon”.On the international stage, the project is also tasked with incorporating the value of blue forests into international agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At such meetings, project partners have presented and led international discussions on coastal and marine conservation as a nature-based climate adaptation and mitigation option.