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 four year 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, a Norwegian foundation and center collaborating with UNEP.

IUCN, as project partner, is responsible for undertaking national policy assessments as well as providing the Small Scale Interventions with policy advice.