Planet Portfolio

Community-Managed Mangroves

Bolstering coastal community livelihoods through mangrove habitat protection.

Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador

About this Project

Mangroves, coastal forests, are one of the most carbon-rich and ecologically important ecosystems on the planet. This program protects critical mangrove forests.

In partnership with the Government of Ecuador, this project led by Conservation International Ecuador implements a unique model of conservation incentive agreements called "Socio Manglar", to offer direct economic incentives to local associations that commit to sustainably managing mangrove areas. This project supports an association in the Gulf of Guayaquil to protect critical mangrove forest, promote best fisheries practices, and develop a financial strategy for the Association.

CO2 takes the rights of local communities seriously. This project has been identified and is currently under a free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) process with project participants. FPIC is a decision-making process without pressure and intimidation (free), which is performed before the activity that affects the community is undertaken (prior), with the possession of full and accurate knowledge about the activity and its impact on the community (informed), so that the community can either provide or withhold its permission over the activity (consent).

Specific community details will be updated as soon as FPIC has been concluded.

Why We Picked This Project

On average, mangroves have the densest concentrations of carbon of any ecosystem on Earth. These small but mighty ecosystems also reduce damage from coastal storms, providing $65 billion in annual flood protection benefits globally, and they serve as critical nurseries for fish and other wildlife.

The Gulf of Guayaquil has the most extensive mangroves in Ecuador, and high concentrations of irrecoverable carbon–as high as the densest parts of the Amazon rainforest. The Socio Manglar program provides a unique avenue to invest directly in the communities that live by and manage these mangroves, with Conservation International Ecuador providing critical technical assistance.

The project takes into account the long-term financing of protection in the region by integrating the development of financial plans into the project.

Our Assessment of this Project

Project Developer

Standards & Certifications

  • Not applicable

Benefits & Impact


  • Protects nursing areas for endangered species such as hammerhead, blacktip & tiger sharks, sea turtles, shorebirds, mammals, and crocodiles

  • Enhances adaptation to climate change for the local community, as mangroves provide protection from storms

  • Supports the Gulf of Guayaquil mangrove ecosystems on which 38,924 vulnerable people depend

Sustainable Development Goals

This project supports the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Gender EqualityReduced InequalitiesClimate ActionLife Below WaterLife On Land

Additional Information

Additionality Summary

Funding of this project provides direct financial incentive payments to communities to protect mangrove habitat. Without the support, these communities, many of whom live below the poverty line, would likely resort to extractive activities in the region, risking the integrity of the critical mangrove habitat.