Compared to forests and the oceans, mangroves can be overlooked in terms of ecological importance, but this intersection between land and sea makes a vast contribution to human health, wellbeing, and the protection of coastal communities. Not only that, they are highly effective carbon sinks, able to store over 3,750 tons of carbon per hectare – that’s the equivalent of taking 2,650 cars off the road for a year1.
But, as with tropical forests, mangroves around the world are in serious decline, with over 3,700 km2 lost between 1999-20192. As well as protecting large areas of land from tsunamis and other environmental disasters, mangroves also mitigate the effects of climate change, such as erosion and sea level rise. This loss of habitat has serious consequences not only for the people that live close to the coast, but the planet as a whole.
Much more than conservation
One of the projects currently funded by the Carbon Balanced Paper scheme is an area of lowland coastal forestry in Guatemala, which contains a significant proportion of mangrove. The area spans the Caribbean coastline of Guatemala, bordering Belize to the north and Honduras to the south, with the whole project area containing an estimated 359 species of bird and 126 species of mammal, including the American Manatee and Neotropical Otter.
Through World Land Trust and their local partners, the project aims to support local landowners to obtain land titles to protect 133,827 acres of forest, transforming local livelihoods through job creation in ecotourism and sustainable agriculture, as well as improving access to healthcare by establishing 24 community-run clinics.
“For us, protecting this landscape is about so much more than conservation,” says local community worker Marta Tiul Cabnal. “Our communities need their landscape; it is the air we breathe and our sustainable source of food and shelter. If we don’t act, if we don’t continue to protect it, there’s a chance that someone might ruin and pollute all this natural bounty in the future.”
How to help
Protecting the mangroves and lowland forests of Guatemala is just one of four projects supported by Carbon Balanced Paper. The scheme enables brands and organisations to reduce the carbon emissions of their printed communications simply by choosing the right paper and printer, in the process generating funds that can save the world’s most endangered habitats.
The initiative works with a number of paper merchants that offer a series of high quality papers suitable for a wide range of marketing campaigns. The carbon impact of the production and distribution of these papers has already been balanced with World Land Trust, allowing your company to include a unique logo on your print run to demonstrate your commitment to the environment.
In the eleven years it’s been running, over 5,000 brands have used Carbon Balanced Paper to offset their carbon emissions, including Unilever, Nat West Bank, Anglian Water, Neal’s Yard, Dulux and Specsavers, with each brand helping to save an area of habitat that takes over 50,000 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere every year.
Help protect forests rich in biodiversity by choosing Carbon Balanced Print and Paper, contact us to learn more.
2High-resolution mapping of losses and gains of Earth’s tidal wetlands, University of Cambridge, 2022