At the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum in Paris, Australia launched a new International Partnership for Blue Carbon, according to a press release by Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt, a speaker at GLF 2015. Australia is joined by the governments of Indonesia and Costa Rica.
The Partnership brings together governments, non-profit organisations, intergovernmental agencies, and scientists to increase understanding of, and accelerate action on the important role of coastal blue carbon ecosystems in climate change action.
Blue carbon – carbon stored in marine and coastal habitats – could play a significant role in reducing emissions, while also supporting biodiversity conservation, fisheries habitat protection, and disaster risk reduction.
Research has already demonstrated that coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass beds and salt marshes can be much more effective than forests at sequestering carbon….
While constituting only 2-6 per cent of the total area of tropical forest, degradation of these ecosystems emits the equivalent of 19 per cent of the annual carbon emissions from global deforestation.
The network will support
- Measurement of coastal blue carbon ecosystems and their capacity to absorb carbon emissions;
- development of innovative approaches to protect and enhance coastal blue carbon ecosystems;
- science and research to support blue carbon measurement and management;
- capacity building and knowledge transfer across countries;
- the mobilization of funding to support coastal blue carbon ecosystem management from the private sector and mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund.
Besides Australia, Indonesia and Costa Rica, the founding members are:
- the Blue Carbon Initiative (Conservation International, IUCN, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – UNESCO)
- the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP)
- the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Office of the Pacific Oceanscape Commissioner
- the Centre for International Forestry Research; and
- the Global Change Institute.
Read full press release here