Indeed, an important part of the climate change puzzle lies in our costal ecosystems. Beyond providing nurseries for fish and coastal protection from storms, these ecosystems also sequester and store blue carbon from the ocean and atmosphere. Coastal vegetation such as mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes, sequester carbon up to 100 faster and more permanently than terrestrial forests. The carbon is stored in peat beneath these types of vegetation and typically are undisturbed for long periods of time.
The Blue Carbon Initiative does important work to preserve and promote blue carbon sinks around the world. By developing management approaches, financial incentives, and policy mechanisms for ensuring conservation, development and sustainable use of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, the initiative is making real headway. The effort is coordinated by Conservation International (CI), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO).
Underscoring the importance of these ecosystems, The United Nations Environment Program even has a special Blue Carbon Initiative. Learn more here from the executive director of the program.