Monday, April 11, 2011

Green Payments for Blue Carbon

It seems that every few weeks we learn more about importance of Blue Carbon ecosystems as carbon sinks.

Two recent publications by the World Bank and Duke University are especially noteworthy to the policy and market spheres of Blue Carbon:

Mitigating Climate Change through Restoration and Management of Coastal Wetlands and Near-shore Marine Ecosystems Challenges and Opportunities (S Crooks, D Herr, J Tamelander, D Laffoley, & J Vandever, March 2011)

Green Payments for Blue Carbon: Economic Incentives for Protecting Threatened Coastal Habitats (B C Murray, L Pendleton, WA Jenkins, & S Sifleet, April 2011)

Important take-home messages from the reports include:

  • Avoiding carbon emissions from the loss of Blue Carbon ecosystems (avoided loss) could be one of the major values for potential market application.
  • Sustainable management of Blue Carbon ecosystems also offers a wide range of co-benefits, including shoreline protection, water quality maintenance, the preservation of biodiversity, food security, and economic benefits associated with fisheries and tourism.
  • Carbon emissions (from ecosystem loss) and sequestration associated with Blue Carbon ecosystems are currently neither accounted for in national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, nor do incentives for restoration or disincentives to drain or damage these systems exist in international policy frameworks is that amounts of carbon.
  • Coordinated action/initiatives are recommended in advancing Blue Carbon in the international and national climate change policy processes. Targets include national GHG inventories, expanding UNFCCC reporting requirements, and IPCC guidance and guidelines, with opportunities both in the developed and developing worlds.

Hats off to the Blue Carbon Portal for beating us to this story, I just had to re-post. -Steven