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International policy framework for blue carbon ecosystems

  • IUCN
  • Summary

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems1, including mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes, are some of the most carbonrich ecosystems on Earth, and are vital to mitigating the impacts of climate change. They are also critical for coastal biodiversity, food security, livelihoods and human well-being, in addition to climate adaptation – protecting millions of people globally from the impacts of storms, coastal flooding and erosion. However, these ecosystems are threatened – half of global mangrove forests have already been lost – and once these ecosystems are degraded  or destroyed, their carbon stores are released as carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. The effects of climate change further threaten coastal ecosystems through the impacts of sea level rise, extreme weather events, and ocean acidification. Addressing these threats is essential to successful conservation and restoration of blue carbon ecosystems. This policy framework, developed by CI and IUCN, provides an overview of the intersections and opportunities for blue carbon ecosystem conservation and restoration in the relevant international policy processes. It includes recommendations for Parties to support synergies across international policy processes to enhance ambition for blue carbon action, accelerate national-level implementation, and streamline reporting efforts, and provides examples of specific actions Parties can take to achieve these goals, including within upcoming policy windows of opportunity in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP) revision cycles. It also identifies entry points for blue carbon action within each policy process (Annex 1), and a list of resources to support Parties in implementing this framework (Annex 2).

  • Pages:
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  • Publisher Name:
    International Union for Conservation of Nature Natural Resources (IUCN); Conservation International (CI)
  • Publisher Place:
    Gland, Switzerland
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