Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner launch the concept of Blue Carbon at the 11th Special Session of UNEP Governing Council in Nusa Dua, Bali
Nusa Dua Bali, Indonesia, February 25, 2010 – In a joint statement issued today at the XIth Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council, Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Dr. Fadel Muhammad and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner have emphasized the important role of marine and coastal ecosystems in the fight against climate change.
The concept of Blue Carbon, which emphasizes the ability of marine and coastal ecosystems to sequester carbon, was introduced by UNEP in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Education and Science Organization (UNESCO).
Blue Carbon emphasizes the key role of marine and coastal ecosystems, which are dominated by marine vegetation such as mangrove forests, seagrass, brackish marshes and salt marshes. Coastal and marine ecosystems are believed to be able to complement the role of forests (Green Carbon) in taking up carbon emissions through sequestration.
Mr. Steiner said: “We already know that marine and coastal ecosystems are multi-trillion dollar assets linked to sectors such as tourism, shipping and fisheries – now it is emerging that they are natural allies against climate change.”
Mr. Steiner and Dr. Fadel jointly emphasized that the basis of their joint statement is the mandate of the Manado Ocean Declaration (MOD) declared last year, as well as efforts to control the adverse effects of climate change.
“We appeal to all countries to preserve these abilities of coastal and marine ecosystems as important variables in global climate change dynamic”, said Dr. Fadel and Mr. Steiner.