Protecting & Restoring the Cispata Mangroves, Colombia
In Cispatá, Colombia, the Sinú River doesn’t stay put: It is constantly changing its path, creating a vibrant estuary of saltwater-loving trees called mangroves at the northern edge of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Mangroves live at the edge of the land and sea, providing local communities with coastal protection, habitat for their fisheries, and a wealth of biodiversity. Mangroves can also help in the global fight against climate change. In fact, these and other ocean wetlands — known as “blue carbon” ecosystems — store up to 10 times the carbon per unit area as terrestrial forests, making them a vital ally in the fight against climate change.
Mangroves cover a tiny fraction of the planet’s surface but they are a key part of our ecosystem, and shockingly 35% of the world's mangroves have been lost since 1980. To address the threats Cispatá faces, Conservation International supported by MyTrees funding, is leading the world’s first ‘blue carbon’ mangrove conservation project.
Deforestation has become a problem in Cispata. The main causes of this has been the expansion of the agricultural border, the establishment of damaging tourism infrastructure as well as illegal logging. Since 2019, CI has led the world’s first mangrove blue carbon conservation project. The blue carbon conservation project has and will continue to directly address these threats, provide financial security to the community, improve fishing practices, and develop a sustainable ecotourism program in the region.
Climate: The project aims to sequester an estimated 1 million metric tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of the project
People: To sustain a community of 12,000 people who depend on the mangroves for food,
firewood, livelihoods and protection against storm surges.
Biodiversity: Water purification habitat provision for important and endangered marine species.