Blue Forests: The Economics, Policy and Political Economy of Blue Carbon Ecosystems

Funder: The Global Environmental Facility

Duration: January 2015- January 2019

Local Collaborators

(there are dozens of international collaborators):

  • Linwood PENDLETON, co-lead (AMURE, UBO)
  • Cécile NYS, co-lead (AMURE, UBO)
  • Dorothée HERR, Program Manager (IUCN) and doctoral student (IUEM)
  • Steve CROOKS (Blue Carbon Expert, COP Delegate, Member of IPCC SBSTA on Coastal Wetlands)


  • Old team members
    • Amber Himes-Cornell, co-lead, Doctoral Researcher (AMURE, UBO)

Description: This project is part of a multi-national effort to study and implement policies for harnessing the economic and financial value of blue forest ecosystems – ecosystems that store carbon in their soils (especially mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses). The project includes two key research foci:

Harnessing the Economic Value of Non-Carbon Co-Benefits in Blue Forests

this includes a review of methods and values associated with ecosystems delivered by these coastal habitats as well as specific guidance about whether local partners have the capacity to capture these values through payments of ecosystem services.

The Political Economy of Blue Carbon

this research is the topic of Dorothee Herr’s doctoral theses and includes a focus on the institutional, financial, and political economic factors that influence whether carbon offset buyers will participate in payments for carbon offsets in blue forest areas. This research includes 4 specific sub-topics: 1) The Political Economy of Blue Carbon Projects – Policy, Political, and Market Enabling Conditions required for Coastal Carbon Payments in Developing Countries, 2) The Social and Public Good Effects of Payment Schemes for Coastal Carbon in Developing Countries, 3) A Framework For Prioritizing Global Coastal Restoration Opportunities with a focus on mangroves in selected developing countries, and 4) Matching Supply and Demand in Blue Carbon Markets