On this humid, sunny April morning, CispatĂˇ Bay is still, save for a few local fishermen waist deep in the sea casting their hand-woven nets. Here, Conservation International and Invemar Research Institute are collecting mangrove soil samples to be analyzed for carbon stored in sediment below the waterline, known as â€śblue carbon.â€ť Together with the Omacha Foundation, the three organizations are designing a carbon financing model to incentivize conservation and restoration of mangroves in the region, working in partnership with the local government environment authority (CVS) and the local communities.
â€śWe are pioneering this new wetland model,â€ť says MarĂa Claudia DĂazgranados Cadelo, marine biologist and director of Marine and Community Incentive Programs at Conservation International. â€śWe need to strengthen the way we measure carbon stocks in the soil component of the mangroves. Other methodologies only use above-ground biomass without taking much consideration of the soil, which for mangroves and other coastal ecosystems is the most important place where those ecosystems store carbon.â€ť