17 Aug Promoting the Importance of Blue Carbon Ecosystems to People and Planet
Despite being coined more than a decade ago by scientists, many people are still unfamiliar with the term blue carbon, and with blue carbon’s pivotal role and benefits to people and planet. Blue carbon ecosystems, such as mangroves and seagrasses found in coastal areas, have been scientifically recognized as one of the best solutions in mitigating global climate change for their ability to sequester and store significant amounts of carbon gas emissions.
To increase public awareness about the importance of blue carbon ecosystems, CTC participated in a webinar entitled “Blue Carbon for All”, organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia on August 18, 2021. CTC was represented by its Senior Program Manager Hesti Widodo.
During the talk, CTC acknowledged that many policy makers in Indonesia are not familiar with blue carbon, even though the country has the highest distribution of mangroves in the world, accounting for 3.11 million hectares, or 23% of the world’s total mangrove area. Indonesia’s seagrass meadows are also vast, covering a total area of about 300,000 square kilometers. Together, Indonesia’s seagrasses and mangroves account for approximately 17% of the world’s blue carbon reservoir.
In the Indonesian context, the blue carbon ecosystem has a significant impact on the nation’s resilience, since 65% of Indonesia’s population lives along the coastlines. If this ecosystem is not properly looked after, it is estimated that more than 5.9 million Indonesians will be affected by increasing coastal flooding, intensifying tropical cyclones and accelerating sea-level rise. Unfortunately, Indonesia has lost about 50% of its mangrove forest during the last 2-3 decades due to illegal logging, making the degradation rate among the fastest in the world.
“For those reasons, we have realized that there is an urgency to increase public knowledge about blue carbon. Moreover, better understanding about blue carbon ecosystems will support the development of public policy that will serve as guidance for protecting mangroves and seagrasses,” said Hesti.
CTC helps to train developing policy makers about blue carbon in the Coral Triangle. CTC is currently developing an online training curriculum and modules on blue carbon for policy makers in partnership with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) of the Australian Government.
In the future, CTC hopes to spread knowledge about blue carbon through interactive exhibitions at its Center for Marine Conservation in Sanur, Bali and enable more people to appreciate the importance of this ecosystem to our planet.
Click this link to view the webinar recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6xgcCtsYdE
Photos by: Rili Djohani/CTC & Ummed Mistry/Ocean Image Bank