These areas are on the north Yucatan state coast and the mangroves were lost as a result of a coastal road being built that then interrupted the tidal flows. Culverts have been installed but the rest of the work needed to complete the hydrological restoration has not been completed. The PIN for this project has been submitted to Plan Vivo, but once work started on the Project Development Document it became apparent that the hydrology of this site and the adjacent areas of Santa Clara were best dealt with as a single project comprising around 800 hectares. Coring of the sediment to determine remaining carbon levels has been completed on both the Dzilam and Santa Clara areas and the hydrological restoration plans completed by the CINVESTAV technical team.
The collapse of the octopus fishery around the coast has resulted in the fishing communities losing a large percentage of their income. Contracts are being agreed with the fishing cooperatives in Santa Clara and Dzilam for these organisations to lead on the restoration. In Mexico there are four types of land tenure: ejido land which belongs to the local communities, national land which belongs to everyone in Mexico and is managed by SEMARNAT, federal land which is owned by the Mexican Govt and where it is used for national parks is managed by CONAMP and privately owned lands. In December 2021 the heads of both SEMARNAT and CONAMP agreed thatlocal communities restoring mangroves on national land could be granted leases for the ecosystem services of those areas for a period of up to 99 years. This would then allow the communities to sell the carbon and biodiversity rights on the voluntary carbon markets and fund the restoration work. Although this approach had been agreed in principle, the conditions under which carbon rights could be granted to communities has not been agreed. rePLANET is therefore working with the Morena and Green parties in Congress to determine the conditions under which carbon rights could be transferred to local communities.
The key conditions should be that the communities completing the restoration should receive at least 60% of the income from the sale of the carbon credits. Moreover, as with all rePLANET projects the issuance price of the credits should be index linked so that 60% of any profits made on reselling the credits by the funder is paid as bonuses to the local communities. The biodiversity uplift should also be quantified and biodiversity credits issued so that the communities also benefit from this uplift. The Project Develoment Document will be completed on this one by the end of September 2022 and the $11.5 million project is already sold to a large international carbon broker.