- Belize’s National Mangrove Action Plan, to be completed in 2024, finds its foundation in land tenure analysis, which will help to identify mangrove areas that could be targeted for restoration within the Plan in an integrated way, highlighting nature values such as blue carbon and linking with Belize’s NDC targets.
- Costa Rica case study gives a snapshot of the country’s newly launched Blue Carbon Strategy, the first in the world, which will use economic incentives and markets to reverse the loss and degradation of blue carbon ecosystems and wetlands, promoting a model that “benefits communities who depend directly on the ecosystem services they provide” and supporting the implementation of Costa Rica’s updated NDC.
- Ecuador case study illustrates the experience of a Constitutional court case where the protected nature of mangrove ecosystems versus economic activities in the beach and bay areas were in conflict. It also highlights the effectiveness of the government-ancestral user agreements for the sustainable use and custody of the mangrove ecosystem (AUSCEM), which primary purpose is the protection of the mangrove forest in exchange of traditional, sustainable and preferential use of mangrove resources.
- Indonesia’s Bio-rights program showcases the success of small loan schemes to promote mangrove conservation and restoration through green-grey infrastructure while generating alternative livelihoods and the primordial role of the government to support implementation through program allocations and/or funding to community groups -with potential of scaling up as part of established government incentives.
- Mexico’s case study showcases its Monitoring System for Mangroves (SMMM) which by providing baseline and monitoring data has triggered government responses towards mangrove legal protection, through court orders and new legislation that establishes higher levels of protection for threatened mangrove ecosystems.
- Panama’s case study highlights GMA partners efforts under the Blue Natural Heritage Initiative including work on policies relevant to mangroves: legislation pieces that promote the “Reduce your Footprint” program for low carbon economy and social development and establish the basis of a national carbon market aligned with the country’s Low Carbon Economic and Social Development Strategy and NDCs, as well as two executive decrees under consultation that regulate the conservation and sustainable use of mangroves and that regulates blue carbon projects.
- In 2021, Parties of the Nairobi Convention of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region agreed to develop a WIO Regional Mangrove Vision and Regional Mangrove Action Plan by 2024 to create a framework for regional policy dialogues around mangroves to enhance mangrove-related policies and sustainable management in the Western Indian Ocean.
Based on this and other case studies from around the world, this case study explores selected national-level legal and policy options for mangrove conservation, restoration and sustainable use: 1) incentives and financial mechanisms such as blue carbon measures, Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs, fiscal incentives and subsidies, and product certification; 2) community management of mangrove areas, including tools for community management (such as conservation agreements and concessions) and the legal context for community management, particularly issues around rights, tenure, and legal pluralism; 3) specific national mangrove policies such as national mangrove management plans and strategies; and 4) integrated planning laws and regulations which can incorporate consideration of mangroves. The brief ends with key considerations and recommendations for developing and implementing mangrove laws and policies.