January 12, 2020
What is Blue Carbon?
Blue Carbon is the name of the carbon stored naturally by marine and coastal ecosystems. There are three types of coastal ecosystems — mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal marshes — which are responsible for storing over 50% of all the world’s blue carbon.
How does it work?
Our oceans and coasts provide a natural way of reducing the impact of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere through sequestration (or “taking in”) of carbon emissions. Seagrasses, mangroves and tidal marshes along our coast “capture and hold” the carbon, thereby functioning as a “carbon sink”. For example, a given area of mangrove forests can store up to 10 times as much carbon as the same area of land-based forests.
Why is it so important?
A mangrove forest can offset a lot more carbon than what land-based forests are able to do. Because mangrove forests have been storing carbon in their root system and in the soil for centuries, the preservation of these coastal ecosystems is really important. Unfortunately, however, the rate of loss of mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes (driven mostly by human activities) is estimated to be among the highest of any ecosystem on the planet, prompting international interest in managing them more effectively for their carbon benefits.
Also, these forests are natural buffers against waves, flooding and storm surges like typhoons. Because these events are on the rise, it is more important than ever to protect these mangroves. What’s more, birds and maritime species use coastal ecosystems as their habitat so biodiversity is ensured.
Climate change and rising sea levels have put coastal ecosystems and mangrove forests at risk. If we were to lose these forests, the blue carbon within them would be released into the atmosphere causing further warming. The global economy is already behind on its greenhouse gas reductions, so we can’t afford to lose anymore from natural sinks.
How can I support blue carbon?
CarbonClick is currently searching for new projects with carbon offsetting certification from organisations like the Gold Standard to offer to our customers. However, there is limited availability of carbon credits in this space. We are working hard to find these projects so that when you press the green button you can support blue carbon and help restore coastal ecosystems.
Would you like to support blue carbon projects when you’re offsetting at the checkout? Let us know in the comments below.
For more information on blue carbon you can check out the following sources:
- The Blue Carbon Initiative: https://www.thebluecarboninitiative.org/
- Conservation International: https://www.conservation.org/projects/blue-carbon
- Reef Resilience Network: https://reefresilience.org/blue-carbon/blue-carbon-projects/