ACES supports community-led protection and restoration of mangrove forests and and seagrass meadows (collectively known as ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems). We work closely with coastal communities to conserve these vital ecosystems, creating a better future for people and the planet. We offer people and organisations the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint by supporting these projects.
We support communities in developing, financing and managing projects. Our projects are locally governed and coordinated, are rooted in democratic decision-making that engages the whole community, and are established under co-management agreements with government agencies, giving the communities legal recognition of their powers to govern their natural resources.
Why blue carbon?
Blue carbon ecosystems – mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and saltmarsh – are the unsung heroes of the climate crisis. They store huge amounts of carbon in their soils by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the environment around them and locking it away as organic carbon deep beneath their roots. Unlike terrestrial forests, where this carbon is broken down and released again into the atmosphere, the soils of blue carbon ecosystems are waterlogged, preventing this process from happening. The carbon stored in blue carbon habitats can be locked away for hundreds, or even thousands, of years.
It’s not just their superhero powers in fighting climate change. Blue carbon ecosystems are important habitat for fish and shellfish, supporting local fisheries and livelihoods. They support rich biodiversity above and below the waves, attracting sea turtles, sharks, manatees and dugongs, birds and even tigers, bringing opportunities for tourism to coastal economies. They act as natural sea walls, protecting the coast and the people who live on it from coastal erosion and storms. They are a source of timber and other products relied on by millions of people, they provide educational and recreational opportunities, and often hold great cultural and spiritual value to those who live alongside them.
How we work
We support our projects in achieving certification under the Plan Vivo Standard. This allows projects to trade carbon credits, or certified units of carbon sequestered and permanently stored. These credits are bought by individuals and organisations as carbon offsets, to offset unavoidable carbon emissions. We trade these credits on behalf of the projects, giving at least 94% of income from these sales to the projects. We support the projects in high-level management, although day-to-day coordination is conducted by the project staff on the ground. We source and secure funding on behalf of community groups to establish new projects, and facilitate training, research and capacity building.
ACES welcomes expressions of interest from community groups interested in conserving coastal habitats. We have a small but growing capacity and are open to collaborations with new community groups. Our current projects and expertise are in East Africa, although we welcome interest from communities worldwide.