Blue Carbon Futures

Blue Carbon Futures: Improving Carbon Sequestration in Mangroves across Australia, Vietnam and Brazil

This Global Challenges project is researching changing patterns of mangroves in Australia, Vietnam and Brazil and their carbon sequestration potential from interdisciplinary perspectives. Mangroves play an under-appreciated role in the global carbon cycle. They represent a substantial above ground biomass on tropical shorelines but they also contribute considerably larger below ground carbon storage which is increasingly recognised as a significant ‘blue carbon’ contribution to global carbon sequestration. Maintaining and increasing mangrove cover in coastal locations across the globe is therefore critical in combating the adverse impacts of climate change.

The project will develop protocols for the assessment of mangrove extent and its contribution to carbon accounting. It will consider the scientific methodologies for determining mangrove biomass and below ground storage of carbon including the use of remote sensing techniques for mapping mangroves. Importantly, the project will also examine the social and policy context of mangrove ecosystems by investigating the multiple ways in which settings and pressures relevant to mangrove conservation differ in the three focus regions. This component will examine (a) the current use and valuation of mangrove systems and the relationship to human livelihoods; (b) the international and domestic law frameworks for conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems including how the carbon sequestration potential of mangroves is recognised and valued in law and policy; and (c) carbon accounting approaches in the three focus regions identifying how the measurement of carbon sequestration in mangroves contributes to the fulfilment of international and domestic obligations to offset carbon emissions.

Last reviewed: 1 July, 2015