This document supports the development of a global greenhouse gas (GHG) offset methodology for tidal wetland conservation. The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) provides a set of requirements which projects must meet before offsets are issued. The requirements for wetlands projects include determining the baseline scenario and anticipated GHG emissions, setting the project boundary, determining additionality, quantifying project GHG emissions and reductions, establishing the permanence of GHG emission reductions, and others.
Tidal wetlands, such as mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass beds, store globally significant amounts of soil carbon and these ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at rates three to ten times greater than forests. No methodologies exist to allow the issuance of carbon offsets for tidal wetland conservation projects. This document recommends specific criteria and procedures to incorporate into the first global tidal wetland conservation GHG offset methodology that would meet the VCS requirements.