SINANCHÉ, Mexico, Jul 27 2022 (IPS) – When hurricanes Opal and Roxanne both hit the Mexican state of Yucatán in a ten-day period in 1995, they destroyed much of the mangrove forest in the small coastal community of San Crisanto. The local people responded by replanting mangroves and clearing channels among the trees to allow water to flow freely. They committed to protect the ecosystem.
Today it’s a conservation success story, with the restored mangroves protecting the coastline, sustaining wildlife and supporting livelihoods based on fishing and ecotourism. Now, after 27 years of hard work, the community is reaping new benefits by capitalizing on the carbon the mangroves contain. They are selling Mexico’s first carbon credits based on the so-called ‘blue carbon’ of marine ecosystems.
“We have been the first to do so,” says to IPS José Loria, the president of the community’s San Crisanto Foundation. “We are pioneers. We built the project, we designed it. It is a meaningful issue, relevant to the area. It’s a long-term project.”