About the GEF Blue Forest Project

Although many advances have been made in the last few years, there are still many challenges associated with unlocking the values of coastal carbon and ecosystem services, and then turning them into revenue and management options. The science still contains many gaps, there are very few ‘proof-of-concept’, on-the-ground examples around the world, and the international community still does not fully recognize the value of these systems for climate change mitigation or adaptation.

The Blue Forests Project aims to address these challenges through coordinated on-the-ground demonstrations where better coastal ecosystem management is achieved by harnessing the values associated with carbon and ecosystem services, addressing key knowledge gaps, and providing experience and tools for greater global application. This project is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and co-financed by project partners, and managed by GRID-Arendal.

Project outcomes


The main outcomes of the Blue Forests Project are:

  • Improved knowledge and capacity of coastal and marine ecosystem managers and stakeholders on carbon sequestration, storage, possible greenhouse gas emissions, as well as ecosystem services in blue forests ecosystems, and on possible policy and economic instruments that may be applied to sustainable coastal and marine habitat management.
  • Improved and replicable ecosystem management based on improved understanding of the values blue forests ecosystems at the site level – in Ecuador, Mozambique, Madagascar, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, central America and Kenya.
  • Improved understanding of ecosystem services and carbon storage and sequestration, possible greenhouse gas emissions, sequestration and fluxes for blue forests ecosystems through targeted research and peer-reviewed literature.
  • Improved acceptance and awareness of blue forests values, methodologies and approaches in international policy and markets related to climate change and ecosystem service valuation.
  • Improved information exchange with the international blue forests community in cooperation with IW:LEARN.