Ik Kyo Chung (PNU, Korea)
Gabriel Grimsditch (UNEP)
Jerker Tamelander (UNEP)
Núria Marbà (Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies, CSIC-UIB, Spain)
Blue Carbon is a relatively recent concept in finding nature-based solutions to climate change. It recognizes the role that coastal ecosystems can play in climate change mitigation as well as adaptation, as these ecosystems (in particular mangroves, intertidal marshes, seaweed beds and seagrass beds) hold vast CO2 reservoirs. In fact, the rates of carbon sequestration and storage in coastal ecosystems are comparable to and often higher than those rates in carbon-rich terrestrial ecosystems such as tropical rainforests or peatlands. Given the recent heightened interest in coastal Blue Carbon, the science surrounding the concept is advancing rapidly; especially concerning our understanding of how coastal ecosystems sequester and store carbon, where the ‘hotspots’ for coastal Blue Carbon are, how rapidly the ecosystems are being lost or modified because of anthropogenic disturbances and climatic changes, and the releases of carbon that follow ecosystem loss of modification. Although our understanding of these crucial questions is improving, there are still large gaps in our knowledge and our scientific understanding of these processes and how to manage them.
The objectives of this 1-day workshop are to: a) synthesize the current status of scientific knowledge of the
role that coastal ecosystems play in climate change mitigation, and to identify how this knowledge can support
management strategies and policy decisions; b) identify the major gaps in knowledge concerning coastal Blue
Carbon that still need to be addressed; c) analyze the major threats to coastal Blue Carbon and how different
damaging anthropogenic practices as well as climate change are responsible for causing greenhouse gas emissions
from these ecosystems, as well as eroding the various ecosystem services provided; d) provide Blue Carbon
science-based policy recommendations for the management of coastal carbon sinks; e) raise awareness of
successful coastal Blue Carbon case studies around the world; and f) explore possibilities for Blue Carbon policy,
science and pilot projects in the region of East Asia and set out a plan of action for Blue Carbon in the region of East Asia.
The outcomes of the workshop are expected to be: (1) a white paper/workshop report, providing a synthesis of current status of scientific knowledge on coastal Blue Carbon, identification of major gaps in knowledge, successful Blue Carbon case studies, and management strategies that protect and enhance these carbon stocks, including an analysis of threats and damaging activities to coastal Blue Carbon and how they are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions; and (2) a plan of action for Blue Carbon in the region of East Asia, outlining research needs, policy gaps and possible pilot projects.