mangrove forest along coast in Sindh, Pakistan
Photo by Danish Iqbal via Shutterstock.

The Delta Blue Carbon Project – Phase 1 (DBC-1) in Pakistan illustrates the seamless integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation, community welfare, and biodiversity preservation. As such, the project is registered in Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program as well as its Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards (CCBS) Program.

The project area spans over 350,000 hectares in the Indus Delta Region of the Sindh province in southeastern Pakistan. This biologically rich ecoregion comprises complex channels, creeks, low-lying sandy islands, mangrove forests, and intertidal areas. The mangrove forests in this region have undergone significant deforestation and degradation over recent decades due to the persistent demand for fuelwood, fodder, and open-range grazing.

Developed to address the looming risk of deforestation and forest degradation, the project also seeks to rejuvenate degraded coastal habitats, preserving the biodiversity in this vital ecoregion while ensuring its long-term sustainability.

The diverse project activities advance critically needed climate change mitigation and adaptation. Throughout its 60-year lifespan, the project is expected to restore 350,000 hectares of mangroves, resulting in the removal of an estimated 142 million tonnes of CO2e emissions.

The project also extends numerous benefits to the local communities, offering hundreds of jobs, enhancing livelihoods and well-being, facilitating access to clean drinking water, improving healthcare, and upgrading educational facilities to foster environmental awareness across the 60 forest-dependent villages in the project vicinity. These community-centric benefits are poised to uplift over 70% of the population who previously lived below the poverty line, subsisting on less than US $1.25 per day.

Situated within a Key Biodiversity Area (a site of global importance to the planet’s overall health and the persistence of biodiversity), the project protects the habitat of 11 globally threatened species, including three listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List: the Indus River dolphin (Platanista minor), Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea), and the Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata). The biodiversity gains from the project encompass wetland restoration, habitat improvement, reinforced habitat security through law enforcement, sustainable resource utilization, and comprehensive awareness campaigns and advocacy efforts.