Eye on Oceans & Blue Carbon
'Blue Carbon' is a strategic approach to capatilise on the globally significant carbon storage and sequestration potential of coastal ecosystems (namely, mangroves, saltmarshes and sea grasses) and encourage a more effective and sustainable management of these ecosystems and their services. The aim of the Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative is to transform the quality and accessibility of coastal ecosystem data and build local capacity to develop and subsequently utilise and interpret this to facilitate climate-smart planning for enhances climate change mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity conservation in the marine environment. Ultimately this Special Initiative aims to support enhanced fulfillment of national and informational commitments to reduce climate impacts and safeguard biodiversity and human well-being.
In the short and medium term this Special Initiative will:
(a) Use innovative technologies and Citizen Science techniques to develop dynamic habitat mapping and validation and upload tools to deliver timely, fit-for purpose, reliable and interoperable spatial datasets for mangroves, saltmarshes and sea grasses;
(b) Develop internationally approved methodologies and data standards to meet the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) requirements for transparent, complete, consistent, comparable and accurate data;
(c) Build user communities, networks and local capacities to maximise the uptake of methodologies, data interoperability, and implementation and interpretation of carbon and ecosystem service assessments for management planning and knowledge sharing;
(d) Integrate work across on-going and future activities in Blue Carbon on a global scale.
Longer term outcomes of this Special Initiatives include:
(a) Increased usage of ecosystem based approached in coastal management and conservation, which maximise climate change mitigation and adaptation potential;
(b) Reduce uncertainties and risk in trade-offs between development and conservation, particularly with respect to vulnerable populations;
(c) Greater local capacity to use market-based mechanisms as a source of sustainable financing for coastal management and conservation.