|Lead Institution:||Blue Ventures Conservation (BVC)|
Of all the biological carbon (i.e., green carbon) captured in the world, >50% is captured by marine living organisms (i.e., blue carbon). Mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses form much of the earth’s blue carbon sinks and store comparable amounts of carbon per year to all other plant biomass on land. Blue carbon habitats will play a critical role in mitigating climate change, not only because of the size of the pools which they lock-up, but also because they provide a wealth of other ecosystem goods (e.g., food; fuel; construction material; medicine) and services (e.g., storm protection; barriers to erosion; breeding grounds and nurseries; water filtration) essential to the long-term well-being and climate change adaptability of increasingly vulnerable coastal communities. The significant role that coastal habitat loss has on global greenhouse gas emissions and the important role these habitats play in climate change adaptation are becoming increasingly recognized at an international level (Laffoley et al., 2009; Nellemann et al., 2009; Gordon et al. 2011; Pendleton et al. 2012; Ullman et al. 2012). There is a growing international movement to establish a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation plus other measures to restore, enhance, and conserve carbon stocks) mechanism for blue carbon habitats similar to that existing for terrestrial forests. There is also an urgent need to include coastal, marine carbon in National Inventory Submissions – the mandatory national accounting of greenhouse gas emissions that countries must submit under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) (Thompson, 2009).
|What were the problems the project intended to address?:|
The exact nature of carbon fluxes between mangroves and their surrounding environment is complex and remains an active subject of research (Kristensen et al., 2008). While the sequestration of carbon in mangroves can vary greatly from site to site, relatively few studies of carbon have been undertaken in the WIO in comparison to other major mangrove regions in the world (e.g., Indonesia, Malaysia). While numerous studies have measured above-ground biomass in mangrove trees (Twilley et al., 1992; Saenger, 2002; Komiyama et al., 2005; Alongi, 2009; Kauffman & Cole, 2010), few have quantified both above- and below-ground pools (i.e., Adame et al. 2013; Chen et al. 2012; Donato et al., 2011; Kauffman et al., 2011; Donato et al., 2012; Matsui et al. 2012; Ray et al. 2011). However, it is the deep, organic-rich soils (i.e., below-ground pools) that are thought to contain the vast majority of C stocks (Golley et al., 1962; Matsui, 1998; Fujimoto et al., 1999).
1. Contribute to the development of REDD methodologies specific to mangroves