About this good practice
Carbon stored in Posidonia Oceanica seagrass meadows & tidal marshes are coastal ecosystems which capture carbon from atmospere, known as Blue Carbon, for millennia. Andalusia is home to vast areas of of this kind of ecosystems.
Funding of restoration&conservation projects for these habitats becomes a reality through sequestration projects, meeting the growing demand from organizations that voluntarily want to reduce their GHG emissions. To carry out these projects, the Regional Government of Andalusia (RGA) approved the Blue Carbon Standard for certification of blue carbon credits, establishing verification & certification requirements for a project to be considered a blue carbon sink. Alongside this Standard, necessary methodologies & tools have been developed&2 pilot projects (pp) included in the Andalusian Registry of Offsetting Projects Catalogue:
• Restoration of tidal marshes of Bahía of Cádiz;
• Conservation/restoration Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows in Cabo de Gata.
These projects may be carried out by public & private organizations on land for which they have authorization&constitute an articulated mechanism to voluntarily offsetting their emissions derived from diffuse sectors.
These actions constitute funding mechanisms to conserve&restore degraded coastal ecosystems&also to combat effects of climate change&improvement of Andalusian ecosystems while fostering a local blue economy around areas where actions are carried out, especially in rural areas.
• Development of Standard &supporting documents, tools and design of pp: 70.000€. It was carried out by a multidisciplinary team made up of specialized consulting companies, university experts and officials from RGA
• Estimated budget for pp implementation: 600.000€
Evidence of success
1. Formal approval of the Standard by RGA
2. Validation of Standard by External Verification Entity (AENOR);
3. Publication of Standard, related documents & tools in Andalusian Webiste;
4. Creation of #BlueCarbon Hub
5. Presentation of Standard in international forums (Innovazul 2022, Climate Action Sevilla Summit 2022, etc)
6. Approval as Good Practice (GP) by the European Committee of the Regions
7. Ongoing pp in Guadalete: baseline study quantifying blue carbon as a reference scenario
Potential for learning or transfer
The Standard has been developed and approved with the highest guarantee of replicability at international level. Additionally, it has been decided to enhance the value of the Standard through validation by an independent external verification entity, AENOR, to promote private blue carbon projects and extend the pilot projects of RGA to other locations in Andalusia, such as the Odiel Marshes and other similar ecosystems, as well as their exportation at national and European levels.
Proof of this is that Andalusia has become the1st Spanish region to approve a methodology for CO2 offsetting through blue carbon, which has been proposed by Andalusia to be included in the National Registry of Carbon Footprint, in accordance with Royal Decree 163/2014, of 14th March. It is currently under study by the National Ministry, with positive prospects (published draft Decree that includes it).
This is also a pioneering initiative in Europe, approved as a GP by the European Committee of the Regions.