Coastal blue carbon activities are being implemented by a variety of countries, using different approaches.

This paper compiles the different existing pathways for the implementation of blue carbon initiatives. It shows that blue carbon represents a key and politically-resonant opportunity for countries to strengthen their efforts in coastal ecosystems management.

It presents several case studies from around the globe that show that there is no single solution to how to best incorporate blue carbon into coastal management. The opportunities can take different forms with countries taking different approaches to deliver on blue carbon, depending on their national and local legal, policy and social conditions.

The authors state that while blue carbon is yet to be fully integrated in all relevant aspects of national to local policy making, some best-practices already exist and are shown in this paper. They highlight that awareness of these best-practices can help policy makers and project developers draw early lessons learned while exploring new carbon-driven incentives.

It is underlined that government coastal policies and efforts still largely treat coastal conservation and restoration efforts exclusively within the scope of adaptation and resilience, or separately through their biodiversity planning efforts. While, looking at the mitigation value of coastal carbon ecosystems can help countries bring together and enhance the synergies between their different sectorial management approaches.

It is concluded that in the future it will be important to integrate action much more by bundling the benefits of ecosystem services, of which carbon is just one.

Herr D, von Unger M, Laffoley D, McGivern A (2017) Pathways for implementation of blue carbon initiatives. Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst 27:116-129