Planblue is excited to announce the launch of the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance, a document developed by the Meridian Institute, co-sponsored by Salesforce, World Economic Forum's Friends of Ocean Action, Ocean Risk Allaince, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy. This white paper formally codifies principles and guidelines to ensure an equitable, fair and profitable blue carbon market. The official launch date for the white paper is during COP27, and includes a launch event at the 'We Mean Business Pavilion' on November 12. Click here to see more information on the launch event.

Cover and extracts of the new white paper, in which planblue was consulted.

Planblue collaborated on and reviewed this first-of-its-kind document. The purpose of the document was „to foster the growth of credible, high-quality blue carbon projects and credits to support people, nature, and the climate.” The document begins with a definition:

High-quality blue carbon projects and credits are those that optimize outcomes for people, nature, and climate in a transparent and equitable way. These projects sequester and store carbon with high fidelity. They restore the ecological integrity and resilience of the ecosystem in question. They are designed to open pathways for local and indigenous communities to equitably participate in and benefit. (7).

It then goes on to outline the existing guidance for nature-based solutions, adapting them to coastal ecosystems. Planblue commits itself as an early adopter of the guidelines, which include safeguarding nature, operating locally and contextually, and employing high-quality carbon accounting practices. Read the guidelines here.

“As the developers of technology to allow for accurate monitoring and accounting of carbon stock in seagrass meadows, we believe strongly in the importance of transparent and meticulous carbon accounting practices,” says planblue Communications Manager Elisabeth Moore. “To mitigate climate change, we must protect and restore ecosystems rich in carbon, such as coastal areas. They provide critical habitats for high biodiversity, as well as storing vast amounts of carbon. Both of these elements are equally respected in the white paper. In its principles and guidelines, carbon capture is balanced with ecosystem preservation.”

“When I was approached by Emily Kelly to join the workshop on developing the blue carbon guidelines at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon earlier this year, I was delighted by the energy and vision,” says planblue CEO Joost den Haan. “It was great to see so much interest in our technology, since it allows for objective, transparent and standardized monitoring of blue carbon. We actually were the only monitoring company participating in the workshop, which allowed us to support the overall vision from a crucial perspective.”

Seagrass meadows are one of the so-called 'blue carbon' ecosystems.

“We've been actively supporting the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance, as these guidelines are key to unlocking nature-based climate solutions,” adds planblue CSO Dr. Hannah Brocke. “In particular, we emphasize the importance of assessing the health status of ecosystems such as seagrass meadows. Planblue’s DiveRay, which includes a variety of cameras including a hyperspectral camera, allows project developers to assess the health of the ecosystem with very little time and labor. Since ecosystem health is a key parameter to validate blue carbon credits, we were pleased to see how much biodiversity was stressed in the Principle and Guidance documentation.”

The launch of this white paper characterizes a landmark moment for the blue economy: before this, there were no guidelines for blue carbon projects. Planblue is pleased to have access to this white paper now, as a consensus from important stakeholders in the industry is crucial to scaling up the market and moving forward, especially for climate mitigation. We are excited to implement them, optimizing outcomes for society, nature and our planet.

Read the white paper here.