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Ryan with Yagasu and marex

Diversified global financial services platform Marex partnered with Handprint and sister organization Global Mangrove Trust to develop a blue carbon credit project in Indonesia. Handprint’s impact monitoring and reporting tools enabled Marex to set a new standard for high-integrity carbon credits.

Partnership overview

Handprint Tech, the NGO Global Mangrove Trust (GMT), and the global commodity broker, Marex Asia are the key partners for the service collaboration. 

Marex is a financial services platform, connecting clients to global energy, metals, agricultural and financial markets. The company is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality and has put an internal price on carbon. Rather than simply buying low-cost carbon credits in the market, Marex chose to incubate and accelerate an initiative to support its own internal carbon-neutrality ambitions while opening up new business opportunities for their traders. Through research and development, they strive to finance and innovate new Nature Based Solutions (NBS) globally and upscale blue carbon financing in South East Asia.

Handprint and sister NGO, Global Mangrove Trust (GMT), both contribute with expertise and experience in environmental field work and sustainable business development.

GMT leads the project locally by working with local communities and NGOs (e.g. Yagasu) in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Handprint provides the impact monitoring and reporting technology that brings the project to Marex’s global community.

Developing a new Nature Based Solution

Alongside GMT, Marex is developing and funding a blue carbon mangrove restoration project in North Sumatra, called 001-OxC. This is a carbon project registered with OxCarbon Standard and organized on the SP Global international carbon registry. Marex’s work with GMT has won the company international recognition as a sustainability leader in their sector.

Through partnering with GMT and Handprint, Marex Asia is developing an ecosystem of NBS innovations, funding climate project origination, providing state-of-the-art carbon sequestration estimation through advanced machine learning, forming novel and scalable carbon verification standards, and commercialising climate impacts.

The Limitation of Carbon Crediting Systems

Given the urgency of a net-zero future and rising market demand for carbon solutions, Marex realized that incumbent carbon crediting systems rely on outdated, non-scalable, and bureaucratic verification processes which, despite their good intentions, create barriers to adoption and have recently suffered from a trust breakdown. 

Marex chooses Mangroves and Blue Carbon Credits

Marex is passionate about the significance of blue carbon ecosystems to biodiversity and community health, and celebrates mangroves’ role in mitigating climate change.

Within carbon markets, blue carbon is emerging as an area of great interest. Blue carbon is the carbon sequestration that occurs in ecosystems that are under water or at the interface between land and sea, such as mangroves, tidal and salt marshes, and seagrasses. 

Mangrove forests, in particular, are considered crucial blue carbon ecosystems – they have the capacity to store 4-10 times more carbon than tropical upland forests and contribute up to 14% of the carbon captured by the world’s oceans. 

Furthermore, they are highly effective at protecting against coastal erosion, serving as green shields for coastal communities, acting as essential habitats for fisheries, and supporting local livelihoods. 

Today, preserving these “blue forests” has become even more urgent due to the alarming rate of mangrove loss. Particularly in Asia, mangroves face alarmingly high deforestation rates putting billions of tons of stored CO2 at risk of being released into the atmosphere.

Marex’s Challenge in Working With Blue Carbon

Marex recognized that better measurement alone was not sufficient when building a new type of carbon credits. While project partner Kumi Analytics* developed a pioneering machine learning system for mangrove classification and above and below-ground biomass estimation, relying on complex data about carbon sequestration alone could not convey the environmental and social co-benefits in an engaging way. Because carbon credits are issued annually, the analysis of changes in mangrove reforestation, afforestation, and conservation areas normally occurs annually as well. This creates 364 days with almost no information about the project, reducing trust and credibility with potential buyers and investors.

There was a pressing need for the development of scalable monitoring, reporting, and verification solutions in mangrove regeneration. And here’s where Handprint comes in.

*Kumi Analytics is a Singaporean-based space-based intelligence company that tracks and analyzes physical environmental changes through satellite image recognition and advanced machine learning (ML). Kumi originally worked with Marex on crop forecasts essential to future contracts and, redeveloped its ML approach in collaboration with our team.

Handprint’s Advanced Impact Monitoring Services

Marex was in search of continuous assurance, with qualitative and quantitative information coming directly from the reforestation partner (Yagasu) on the ground.  Marex recognized Handprint’s technological capabilities in bringing remote sensing and data analytics to field projects, and using mobile tools to help local project leaders report on mangrove restoration progress.

Handprint equipped Yagasu, the reforestation partner on the ground, with its mobile reporting tools and built a public project page where Marex and its audience can learn about the project. Website visitors can support the project through contributions, planting mangrove trees, and purchase carbon credits.

Thanks to Handprint’s technology, the positive impact created by the mangroves are accessed in real-time, and viewers can enjoy geo-tagged images and other stories from the mangrove restoration site. 

This helps ensure a much higher frequency of reporting, increased transparency for carbon credit vendors, and emotional engagement among Marex stakeholders.

Blue carbon credits are now available for all

Handprint was asked to help Marex develop the market for these new carbon credits and simplify and streamline the carbon credit purchasing process. Companies that buy these high quality blue carbon credits through the website or via the dashboard can assure that the credits will be retired in their name, removing another pain point for many buyers of carbon credits.

Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) buys the first carbon credits 

Marex’s first carbon credits from this project have been purchased by Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) and becomes one of the first users of Handprint’s direct contribution to retirement model. SRT has retired approximately 100 tons of blue carbon through Handprint’s platform by restoring one hectare of mangrove forest in Indonesia. Mercer University in the USA is also an early adopter of the model.

Key Takeaways

  1. Relying on complex data about carbon sequestration alone could not convey the environmental and social co-benefits for the planet
  2. Handprint develops nature-based solutions and the creation of certified nature credits. The reporting tools provided increased transparency, frequency of reporting, and emotional engagement among Marex stakeholders and carbon credit buyers.
  3. The blue carbon mangrove restoration project focuses on restoring and conserving mangrove ecosystems in North Sumatra, Indonesia enhancing carbon sequestration and storage to mitigate climate change, creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for local communities, protecting biodiversity, and promoting ecological resilience.
  4. Handprint continuously builds relationships across complex supply chains. Upstream actors can be equipped with Handprint’s reporting and monitoring tools to increase trust and transparency in impact creation. Downstream actors can deploy Handprint’s automation, integration, and impact visualization tools to create more value for stakeholders.

You can now take climate action by purchasing blue carbon credits,
and creating social and biodiversity co-benefits.

Buy Blue Carbon Credits