UNESCO’s Blue Carbon Working Group Holds First Meeting
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The first meeting of the "Blue Carbon" International Scientific Working Group of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) discussed the implications of using coastal "blue" carbon as a conservation and management tool contributing to climate change mitigation and the development of associated conservation financing mechanisms.

17 February 2011: The “Blue Carbon” International Scientific Working Group of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) met from 15-17 February 2011, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, to discuss the implications of using coastal “blue” carbon as a conservation and management tool contributing to climate change mitigation and the development of associated conservation financing mechanisms.

The working group aims to gather scientific evidence to: determine the role of coastal vegetated ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes, in carbon storage and sequestration; encourage the inclusion of these systems in national carbon accounting; and consider their conservation and restoration as a viable mitigation strategy under existing climate regulation policies.

At its first meeting, the Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group: identified coastal carbon hot spots; created a draft definition for carbon-rich coastal ecosystems, considering local and regional scales; considered methodologies for carbon accounting in mangroves and wetlands; and discussed the possible quantification of emissions associated with the degradation of coastal ecosystems. The meeting concluded with the adoption of recommendations for coastal carbon management. [Blue Carbon Working Group Website] [UNESCO IOC Press Release]

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