02 Dec. 2010, Miami, FL -- The Blue Climate Coalition has issued an open statement to the delegates of COP16, calling for blue carbon to be included in international climate change treaties.
The Coalition was represented by fifty-five marine and environmental stakeholders from nineteen countries who signed-on. The statement highlights the role that certain coastal and marine ecosystems – such as mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, saltwater marshlands, and kelp forests – can play as part of the solution to climate change. When healthy, these ecosystems store atmospheric carbon and thereby help mitigate climate change.
The Statement also suggests a potential exiting similar blue carbon role for marine vertebrates – including whales and fin fish – as carbon sinks, based on promising new research.
The Coalition’s recommendations to the Parties of the Conference include:
1) Include the conservation and restoration of mangrove, saltwater marsh, seagrass, and kelp ecosystems in your strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation;
2) Establish a global Blue Carbon Fund for the protection and management of these important coastal ecosystems;
3) Include blue carbon sinks in national REDD+ strategies and greenhouse gas accounting; and
4) Support coordinated scientific research to better quantify blue carbon’s role in climate mitigation, including the development of protocols and methodologies for monitoring, reporting, and verification of coastal and marine carbon sinks.Blue Climate Coalition was formed in November 2009 to help advance coastal and marine conservation as part of the solution to climate change. Over 100 conservation groups and environmental stakeholders, and over 150 scientists together from 43 countries, have joined the Coalition’s call to support blue carbon solutions for climate change.