Blue Carbon – managing coastal ecosystems for climate change mitigation
Thursday, 12th of January 2012, 09:00
European Parliament - Brussels
Human-caused carbon in the atmosphere and oceans is the most significant cause of global climate change. Curbing climate change means both removing carbon from the atmosphere and oceans and avoiding new carbon emissions. An important piece of this solution is preserving and restoring coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass meadows.
Nature-based mitigation solutions through the conservation and restoration of terrestrial forests, and more recently peatlands, have been recognized as an important component of climate change mitigation. Such approaches should now be broadened to manage other natural systems that contain rich carbon reservoirs and show potential significant emissions due to conversion and degradation. In particular, the coastal ecosystems of tidal marshes, mangroves and seagrasses sequester and store large quantities of blue carbon in both the plants and in the sediment below them. These Blue Carbon ecosystems are being degraded and destroyed at a rapid pace along the world’s coastlines, resulting in globally significant emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and ocean and contributing to climate change.
This symposium will discuss:
· the science behind the role of coastal ecosystems as carbon sinks and potential sources, if destroyed;
· the potential economic value of coastal carbon;
· the immediate policy options to integrate coastal carbon management into climate change mitigation activities; and
· the ongoing international activities on advancing Blue Carbon .
The event will offer an opportunity to learn more about the Blue Carbon concept and to create links between the growing suite of Blue Carbon activities with activities of the European Commission on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development and connect with the leading experts in this field. It will be an opportunity for information exchange and dialogue with the International Blue Carbon Policy Working Group.
Documents of the meeting
Blue Carbon Policy Framework
Blue Carbon Policy Summary
Blue Carbon Initiative
MEP Struan Stevenson