Hannah Ditty: Blue Carbon and Nature-based Solutions in the Mekong Delta

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Hanoi, Vietnam
June 5th – September 1st, 2023

Coastal ecosystems – mangroves, coral reefs, seagrasses, and tidal marshes – are some of the most productive on Earth. In recent years, their significant role in sequestering and storing ‘blue carbon’ is also increasingly being recognized by policymakers. In addition to mitigation benefits, these coastal ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems are home to a wealth of biodiversity and provide communities with essential ecosystem services, such as coastal protection from storms and land erosion, and nursery grounds for fish. As such, they provide a full spectrum of mitigation, adaptation, and protection benefits. The conservation, protection, restoration, and sustainable management of these important ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems are therefore valuable climate actions, which can be achieved from the application of nature-based solutions (NbS).

In order to ensure that NbS effectively and at scale strengthen the delivery of mitigation (and adaptation) benefits from ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems in contribution to achieving Viet Nam’s mitigation targets announced in its 2022 Nationally Determined Contribution, the proposed project intervention Strengthening Nature-based Solutions to Restore Ecosystems, Conserve and Enhance Blue Carbon Stocks and Biodiversity in Viet Nam.

Hannah Ditty will be working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam on nature-based solutions to restore ecosystems, conserve and enhance blue carbon stock with biodiversity, land protection, and livelihood co-benefits in coastal landscape mosaics of the Mekong delta. The project objective will be achieved through the implementation of four inter-related and mutually complementary components that are focused at addressing existing threats and barriers:

• Component 1: Enhancing national, regional, and provincial policy and institutional frameworks for mainstreaming, developing, and implementing NbS to restore ecosystems, conserve and enhance blue carbon stocks and biodiversity.

• Component 2: Strengthening capacity for cross-sectoral coordination, planning, budgeting and implementation of NbS at national and provincial levels to restore ecosystems, conserve and enhance blue carbon stock with biodiversity, environmental and social conservation co-benefits.

• Component 3: Mobilize participation and investments of private sector and local communities in demonstrating NbS to restore ecosystems, enhance ‘blue carbon’ stock in coastal ecosystems in two target provinces.

• Component 4: Monitoring & evaluation, communication, and knowledge management.

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