CIFOR Reports: Mangroves Essential for Mitigating Climate Change
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Scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and its partners have determined that Indonesia could significantly reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by halting the practice of clearing mangroves, which emits 190 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) each year.

Their findings, which highlight mangroves as globally-significant carbon sinks, are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

CIFOR28 July 2015: Scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and its partners have determined that Indonesia could significantly reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by halting the practice of clearing mangroves, which emits 190 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) each year. Their findings, which highlight mangroves as globally-significant carbon sinks, are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The study finds that Indonesia’s mangroves store 3.14 billion metric tonnes of carbon, an amount equivalent to one-third of the carbon stored by Earth’s coastal ecosystems. According to the authors, the annual deforestation of 52,000 hectares of Indonesian mangroves accounts for 42% of global emissions from the destruction of coastal ecosystem services, i.e. sea grasses, marshes and mangroves.

The article, titled ‘The Potential of Indonesian Mangrove Forests for Global Climate Change Mitigation,’ further highlights that Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of mangrove loss in the world; and that mangrove clearing continues to make way for such activities as aquaculture, which offers high financial returns for products like shrimp. Indonesia has more than 2.9 million hectares of mangroves, but has lost 40% of its mangroves over the past 30 years, according to the study’s authors.

CIFOR Principal Scientist and lead author of the paper Daniel Murdiyarso expressed the hope that “these numbers help policymakers see mangroves as a huge opportunity for climate change mitigation.”

CIFOR is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. [CIFOR Press Release] [CIFOR Blog Post: Indonesia’s Best Hope for Slowing Climate Change] [CIFOR Infographic: Five Reasons for Stopping Mangrove Deforestation] [CIFOR Fact File: A Global Treasure under Threat] [CIFOR Photo Album: Indonesia’s Mangroves] [Publication: The Potential of Indonesian Mangrove Forests for Global Climate Change Mitigation]

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