North Oriental Mindoro Marine Ecosystems Join the Fight Against Carbon Emissions
Good for the planet | Good for people
Marine Protected Areas (MPAS) such as North Oriental Mindoro MPA in the Philippines play multiple roles in ecosystem conservation and economic upliftment. By protecting coastal and marine habitats including mangroves and seagrasses, MPAs enable sustainable fishing and ecotourism, and protect vulnerable communities against extreme climate events though mitigating the effects of climate change. In addition to limiting the impact of storms and rising sea levels, these barrier ecosystems capture and store atmospheric carbon by acting as “blue carbon sinks”.
Although vital, these marine ecosystems are almost universally threatened. In the Philippines, the once extensive mangrove forests have experienced a very significant decline, from an estimated 400,000-500,000 hectares in 1920 to just 120,000 hectares in 1994. This decline in coverage is largely due to exploitation by growing human populations.
We have partnered with local governments and communities in North Oriental Mindoro since 2020 as part of our MPA initiative. Projects include a collaboration with the Uba Sustainability Institute to regenerate and conserve mangroves in the Verde Island Passage area, and a mud crab aquaculture programme that combines mangrove conservation with income generation.
We believe that an opportunity exists to replant mangroves in and around community fishponds, and to prevent further depletion of original mangrove habitats. Working with an international carbon credit expert company, our goal is to issue blue carbon credits for certification or sale to corporations looking to improve their environmental footprint.
Revenues are reinvested directly back into each Marine Protected Area contributing to their effective management and financial sustainability.
The success of this blue carbon credits scheme will be measured against four key performance indicators: restoration and conservation of mangrove ecosystems, livelihood enhancement, equity improvement, and the creation of new jobs – each of which is aligned with one of the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals.