Blue carbon and the role of the Partnership

What is blue carbon and why is it important?

The term ‘coastal blue carbon ecosystems’ refers to three main types of vegetated coastal habitats – mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses. These ecosystems are important for addressing climate change and securing social, economic and environmental outcomes. Coastal blue carbon ecosystems sequester two to four times more carbon than terrestrial forests (Murray et al, Nicolas Institute, 2011).

Improved management of these ecosystems can enhance food security, secure livelihoods, increase resilience, and contribute to delivering Nationally Determined Contributions through carbon sequestration.

When degraded or lost, coastal blue carbon ecosystems can become significant emission sources. Mangrove deforestation is estimated to be around as much as 10 per cent of emissions from deforestation globally (Donato et al, Nature Geoscience 2011).

What is the International Partnership for Blue Carbon?

The Partnership brings together governments, research institutions and nongovernment organisations who are collaborating to enhance understanding of coastal blue carbon ecosystems.

We are coordinating efforts to increase the capacity of governments and their partners to develop and implement policies and projects. We are doing this by:

BUILDING AWARNESS in the international community of the importance of coastal blue carbon ecosystems for climate change adaptation and mitigation, and ecosystem services

SHARING KNOWLEDGE, expertise and experience to build capacity in blue carbon policy, science and practical action

ACCELERATING PRACTICAL ACTION to protect and restore coastal blue carbon ecosystems in identified priority regional ‘hot-spots’

The Partnership is not a funding body, but instead aims to better connect the efforts of governments, research organisations and non-government organisations. It also aims to build on the significant initiatives already under way in this area.

About 50 countries have recognised the value of blue carbon in their Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement (NDCs). The Partnership, over time, will build awareness and capacity to enable additional countries to include blue carbon in their NDCs. Future actions will include catalysing project development at larger scales in priority regional ‘hotspots’ and linking blue carbon projects with climate finance.

Read more about the International Partnership for Blue Carbon in these background documents or take a look at our postcard and poster below. They can be downloaded to send to your colleagues.

What is the Partnership doing?

Coordination, communication and connection

• Linking governments, experts and on-ground practitioners, to facilitate knowledge sharing on science, international frameworks, projects and tools.

• Sharing project success stories and challenges by collating and disseminating case studies, as a resource for understanding blue carbon management.

• Regularly sharing updates and links to resources to inform our individual and collective efforts.

• Producing guidance material on commonly identified challenges and opportunities.

Policy dialogues and resource development

• Meeting virtually via focal groups to hold discussions with experts and government policy makers around barriers to action and ways the Partnership might be able to help.

• Sharing lessons learned and experiences in implementing blue carbon policies to support increased policy uptake and practical action by governments.

Event hosting and strategic planning

• Hosting side-events at international climate change and environment meetings, and conducting targeted workshops in priority regions – some events serve to raise awareness in the broader community, while others address a specific challenge or technical issue.

Find out about our latest activities and achievements by scanning our News items here or get in touch with the Coordinator.