News

Blue Carbon Working Group Releases Recommendations

March 2011: At its first meeting, the International Working Group on Coastal "Blue" Carbon underscored the need for active and effective measures to protect the large and vulnerable carbon pools stored in seagrasses, tidal marshes, and mangroves, and to restore and reestablish their carbon sequestration capacity.

The Working Group convened its first meeting in Paris, France, in February 2011, and identified immediate steps that can be taken by coastal communities, managers, policy makers and the scientific community to protect these ecosystems. These recommendations are to: develop a coherent and programmatic global data gathering and assessment effort, building on existing scientific data, analysis and available technologies; carry out enhanced management actions now, recognizing that existing knowledge of the large carbon stocks, sequestration potential, and emissions from degraded or converted coastal ecosystems is sufficient; and recognizing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the degradation of coastal wetlands or the role of healthy coastal ecosystems in sequestering carbon dioxide.

The founding members of the International Working Group on Coastal “Blue” Carbon are Conservation International (CI), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It was formed in February 2011 to address the global significance of climate change mitigation through the sequestration of carbon by coastal ecosystems – specifically mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses. The working group reviews current scientific knowledge of coastal carbon, develops guidelines for maximizing storage and sequestration of coastal carbon and provides recommendations for quantifying and monitoring carbon, and emissions thereof, in coastal systems. [Publication: Recommendations from the International Working Group on Coastal “Blue” Carbon]