Countries and coastal communities may eventually be paid to preserve their seas to help fight climate change, as a result of an agreement just made in Bali. Over half of all the carbon emitted each year is taken up by the oceans – without this essential, service global warming would be far worse.
Now new research indicates that just a tiny part of the marine environment – the mangrove swamps, salt marshes and seagrasses that cover just 0.5 per cent of the seabed account for the capture of at least half, and maybe three”quarters ,of this ‘”blue carbon”. So keeping them in good shape could be one of the most important things that could be done to keep the climate change under control.
The international climate negotiations are edging towards agreement on paying countries to preserve the “green carbon” in their forests: felling them at present accounts for about a fifths of all carbon dioxide emissions. But they have constantly shied away from extending the idea to the oceans.
Now Indonsesia -m which has the world’s second logest coastline, at 92.000 kmm after Canada – and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have taken the first step towards including them, by launchingfa research programme in the fringes of UNEO’s Governing Council’s annual meeting into just what contribution to tackling global warming conserving them could make.