CCMI partners with bank in blue carbon off-set scheme

| 11/01/2024 | 12 Comments
CCMI researcher (photo courtesy of CCMI)

(CNS): The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) is collaborating with Butterfield Bank to find out how a carbon offset and ecosystem-based restoration scheme can be put into practice in the Cayman Islands to mitigate climate change. The negative effects of the increasing temperatures and other changes are becoming more visible, especially in vulnerable habitats like reefs. Carbon offset schemes are used by environmentally conscious commercial entities to mitigate their carbon emissions by investing in the conservation or restoration of natural habitats that store and cycle carbon from the atmosphere.

Blue carbon offset takes this principle and applies it to the ocean and marine habitats. Compared to terrestrial habitats, marine ecosystems store and cycle 93% of the planet’s carbon, according to the scientists at CCMI, which is based on Little Cayman. This level of carbon sequestration and the vast marine area of the Cayman Islands puts this jurisdiction in a strong position to implement such strategies effectively.

Carbon offsetting alone is not the answer to climate change, but it is a tool to buy time while ecosystems adapt and the world wakes up and starts to substantially reduce carbon emissions. Conserving biodiversity can deliver joint benefits for both atmospheric carbon levels and the health of natural ecosystems.

CCMI’s Blue Carbon Offset and Biodiversity Programme will determine the potential of tropical marine habitat restoration to sequester carbon and develop local initiatives that engage stakeholders in carbon offset and biodiversity activities. Researchers will investigate the amount of carbon stored in corals and
seagrass and how restoring them could help with carbon sequestration. The goal is to create a model that will allow companies to obtain certified carbon credits through ecosystem-based marine restoration.

This will mean that local and international companies have the evidence they need to invest in sustainable blue carbon offset schemes that support marine habitat restoration in the Cayman Islands. This blueprint will be shared regionally for replication to deliver even greater climate action on the international stage.

“Butterfield’s sustainability framework, we are committed to helping protect the environment and, given our island locations, we have a focus on the oceans,” Mike McWatt, Butterfield’s managing director in Cayman, said. “We are pleased to be backing CCMI’s research into habitat restoration for the next three years with the aim of better understanding how tropical marine environments can contribute to the blue carbon offset agenda. We look forward to following CCMI’s progress and supporting their overall efforts to protect and restore coral reefs.”

See the CCMI project video below:


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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How can any of them sell the rights of the King or claim ownership of oceans? These assets rightfully belong to the crown, not some climate activist group. Regardless of their claims or plans to restore, no one should be allowed to pay them for such endeavours in an illusory scheme called carbon credits. This seems to be the typical climate change scam. #BanESg and jail all those involved.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    The climate cycles on earth continuously and always has even without man.

    This nonsense is globalist agenda 101.

    CNS: How is Today’s Warming Different from the Past?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Unless actually associated with preserving habitat under direct threat through alternative development schemes, or for the expansion of habitat to otherwise (relatively) unproductive environment, this is just a cheap scheme for corporate entities to avoid mitigating their ongoing environmental impact while “saving” ecological systems that weren’t at any risk of destruction. Since it’s not on land, I guess it’s blue washing?

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    • Guido Marsupio says:

      11:33, Our marine ecosystem IS at GREAT risk of destruction. If you were snorkeling or diving last summer you saw (as I did) the total whitening of many corals, especially the sheet corals that looked like printer paper sheets. Water got warm very early in the spring last year – ask any divemaster. And it just kept warming. 100F surface water in S. Florida last summer in the news.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Corals are resilient to a certain amount of bleaching. Many can recover completely from a bleaching event. Shallow coral is particularly resilient as it is used to a wider range of temperatures. Last year we had an El Nino event hence why it was a hotter than average year.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Many of our oldest corals around the island died because of stony coral tissue disease. It started in Florida years ago and is rapidly spreading across the Caribbean. I agree with you though. From fishing and diving over almost 20 years, it’s like a barren desert down there now compared to 20 years ago. All the parrot fish are gone. They’re really important to our marine environment and need to be reintroduced.

      • Anonymous says:

        Right, but it’s not exactly clear how this programme would actually combat that. Broad warming impacts aren’t going to be mitigated through blue carbon offset investments if the corporate entity is contributing to the warming in their regular activities. It will, in fact, likely make things worse because the entity won’t change their behavior, worsening the coral situation, but on paper they’re now carbon neutral. No amount of donation is going to preserve coral beds and marine environment if the actual behavior attempting to be offset isn’t abated.

        The only scenario in which this type of approach may actually lead to a net-positive outcome is one in which there was some development slated to specifically and directly impact a defined piece of ecosystem, which is either avoided by purchasing and preserving that specified ecosystem or abated by building ecological value of similar quantum elsewhere. There are very limited instances in which this scenario is applicable, particularly in respect to marine environment.

    • Anonymous says:

      These coral heads will now just need to wait for a “one time” two factor authentication security code before resuming their life.

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