The Kelp Forest Foundation is proud of being selected as a top innovator in Blue Carbon Challenge by The World Economic Forum

  • Interest in blue carbon has reached an all-time high, but high-quality projects remain scarce.
  • The Blue Carbon Challenge on UpLink sourced innovative solutions, projects, and enabling tools that can harness the potential of blue carbon markets to support conservation, restoration, and coastal management for people, nature, and climate.
  • The selected 12 UpLink Ocean Top Innovators will receive technical support and valuable connections to scale their interventions.

As businesses aim to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, they must pursue rapid decarbonization. To complement reducing emissions, capturing carbon in natural carbon sinks offers a transitional step to net-zero. Carbon markets enable net-zero commitments to turn into credible and positive actions for people, nature, and climate. 

Terrestrial carbon sinks have created carbon credits via forests and grasslands with great impact. Blue carbon – carbon stored in aquatic ecosystems, like mangrove forests and seagrass beds, has the potential to store five times as much carbon per square foot as terrestrial ecosystems but blue carbon markets and projects have been underdeveloped and underfunded. At the same time, there has been a strong increase in corporate demand for this limited supply of verified credits. Building the supply of high-quality blue carbon credits will require projects and supporting tools that put people and nature at the centre of this climate mitigation strategy combined with innovation. 

In this vein, Friends of Ocean Action and UpLink and the Mangroves Working Group, launched the Blue Carbon Challenge. Salesforce, Conservation International, Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa, REV Ocean, and GIB Asset Management joined this effort as supporting partners. Together, we sought solutions and tools that can build the supply of strong blue carbon credits. Our focus was to find blue carbon projects that advance the conservation and restoration of coastal and aquatic ecosystems that can enter the carbon market, as well as solutions that support and build trust and transparency in such projects. 

Kelp Forest Foundation is on a mission to independently and transparently prove the ecosystem and carbon sink services of kelp. By supporting cutting-edge ocean science, they are driving forward the science that quantifies the carbon sequestration and biodiversity-building potential of giant kelp.

This article was originally published by World Ocean Initiative as part of the 9th annual World Ocean Summit Virtual Week.