Guardians of the shore: GCF and UNEP partner to protect mangroves and coastal ecosystems in Dominica and Mozambique

  • Article type News update
  • Publication date 09 Dec 2023

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will boost support for global mangrove protection with the announcement of two mangrove conservation and coastal management projects in Dominica and Mozambique.

Coastal communities in Dominica and Mozambique are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, particularly intense tropical storms. Mangroves, often overlooked and underappreciated, can play a crucial role as ‘green infrastructure’ and in integrated ecosystem-based approaches to coastal protection. More than a haven for diverse marine life, mangroves are powerful allies to increase the climate resilience of coastal communities.

In cooperation with Dominica and Mozambique, GCF and UNEP will support the development of national mangrove protection projects in the two countries. A total of USD 1.3 million from GCF’s Project Preparation Facility and matching funding of USD 541,000 from UNEP and partners will be deployed to prepare two projects, “Developing Climate Resilient Integrated Coastal Management in Dominica” and “Building resilience of coastal communities through Ecosystem-based Adaptation approaches in Mozambique” that could receive over USD 60 million in GCF financing when approved by the GCF Board.

The projects aim to enhance the resilience of local communities and ecosystems in the coastal zones of Dominica and Mozambique.  They will be vital to the two countries as they tackle climate change, support local communities’ livelihoods, and protect communities from saline intrusion, flood, and sea level rise.   

The announcement on GCF project preparation support was made by Hong Paterson, GCF Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, at the COP28 Presidency’s event, “A Breakthrough Moment for Mangroves: Delivering Global Action on Mangrove Restoration and Protection.” The event brought together major partnerships and initiatives behind the Mangrove Breakthrough, which has a global target to restore and protect 15 million hectares of mangroves and halt mangrove destruction by 2030. 

“GCF recognises the importance of mangrove conservation and restoration, and we have seen crosscutting impacts from our investments in mangroves, resulting in the protection of local ecosystems and communities. GCF is proud to partner with Dominica, Mozambique and UNEP on initiatives that will save mangroves, increase the resilience of vulnerable communities, and improve their health, wellbeing and livelihoods,” said Hong Paterson, GCF CFO/COO.

"Because every fraction of a degree counts, because every hectare of a resilient ecosystem counts, because every penny counts. We are extremely honored to support Mozambique and Dominica in their aspirations and take that responsibility and trust to heart,” said Mirey Atallah, UNEP’s Head of Nature For Climate Branch.