That’s because coastal ecosystems don’t just provide habitat for marine species and livelihoods for local communities. They also store ‘blue carbon’ in their soils, roots and plants which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and increase global warming.
Protecting and restoring the world’s mangroves, tidal marshes and sea grasses has never been more important.
Photo courtesy of Anett Szaszi Ocean Image Bank
Scientists have shown blue carbon ecosystems can store, or ‘sequester’, between 10 and 100 times more carbon than forests, which is why halting their destruction and restoring and protecting them has become an international priority.
Urgent conservation action is needed because it is estimated that 25-50% of coastal ecosystems have been lost over the last century.
Mangrove forest exploitation, coastal development, pollution and pressures from agriculture and aquaculture are some of the common causes for coastal ecosystem damage and destruction.
ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIP
The International Partnership for Blue Carbon (the IPBC) is a global network of 55 governments, non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations and research institutions from around the world who understand the importance of coastal ecosystems and are committed to their conservation.
The IPBC’s mission is to be an open forum for IPBC partners to connect, share and collaborate to build solutions, take actions, and benefit from the experience and expertise of the global community.
- increase international commitments to protect coastal blue carbon ecosystems
- improve national policies to protect coastal blue carbon ecosystems, and
- accelerate on-the-ground implementation of blue carbon protection and restoration activities.
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Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources