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Mangrove ecosystem services have great value, especially to poor coastal communities. Rates of mangrove deforestation are among the highest of any ecosystem and the resulting loss of ecosystem services falls greatest on the poor. Consequently there is a need for conservation and restoration projects to maintain ecosystems service flows. This will require the both national conservation and restoration programmes and the participation of local communities to change local resource use patterns. A framework is developed to determine risk to mangrove ecosystems and used to analyse opportunities for mangrove forest carbon projects in Kenya. Analysis indicates that a third of carbon stored in Kenyan mangroves is at risk of emission. This has the potential to generate over US$1 million for conservation programmes and improving livelihoods of coastal poor communities. GIS modelling allows threats to mangroves to be analysed and aids location of successful projects or interventions. This tool can be developed accessibly to provide valuable input into coastal management plans, government climate change mitigation policy and community-based sustainable natural resource management.