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Seagrass and maerl, NatureScot

Blue Carbon International Policy Challenge 

Following announcement of the Scottish Government funded ‘Blue Carbon International Policy Challenge’ (BCIPC) in April 2022 the Scottish Blue Carbon Forum is proud to share the following publications that have come from the funded projects.


Four project teams where selected to receive funding to help realise the potential of blue carbon nature based solutions for climate, people and biodiversity, globally.  

The four projects selected were 'Holdfast', 'Blue Forests', 'Blue Carbon Fjordic Nations networks' and the 'Blue Carbon Co-Benefits'. The purpose of these projects was to promote international collaboration and support blue carbon knowledge exchange to a range of audiences, including policy makers, financers and community restoration groups, through the development of plain English guides.

‘Holdfast’, led by Edinburgh Napier University and ‘Blue Forests’ led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science have now been published. See the links below for more information and to download the project outputs.


An introduction

The 'Holdfast' project was led by Edinburgh Napier University, in partnership with the Association for Coastal Ecosystem Services, Project Seagrass, Vanga Blue Forest and the Mangrove Action Project. In addition to the project reports, Holdfast produced a video on blue carbon community projects and supported the Swahili translation of the SeagrassSpotter app, which is designed to help communities map seagrass meadows using citizen science.  

All Holdfast publications are also available in French. 

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The protection and enhancement of blue carbon ecosystems give opportunities to mitigate climate change while also providing a wide range of other non-carbon benefits, such as coastal protection, biodiversity, and fisheries enhancement. This policy brief provides an introduction blue carbon ecosystems.

Blue Carbon Ecosystems


This guide provides an introductory overview of the science of blue carbon and the risks associated with the development of a project with Scottish and international examples. This guide also explains the different types of possible investments (e.g. offsetting), and key risks investors should be aware of. 

Funding Guide

Funding Guide French Language Version

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This guide provides an introductory overview of the processes that will need to be followed to establish a community led blue carbon project, with Scottish and international examples.

Community Guide

Community Guide French language version 

Blue Forests

The ‘Blue Forest’ project was led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science in partnership with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Bringing together a network of international experts from six European countries, Blue Forests considered the potential for carbon offsets by macroalgal (seaweed) aquaculture. In this introductory video, project lead Dr Alasdair O’Dell describes their approach.

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Blue Forests


The outputs of a two-day workshop, hosted at SAMS in Oban, Scotland, were synthesised into a project report. Blue Forests provides an overview of the feasibility of developing seaweed carbon offsets, summarising our current knowledge, key evidence needs and proposing next steps. It acknowledges that many significant evidence gaps remain. 


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