The James Michel Foundation carries out first Blue Carbon study for Seychelles | 01 February 2020
The James Michel Foundation, in partnership with Deakin University of Australia, Constance Ephelia Resort, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, and with the financial support provided through a Blue Grant that was facilitated through SeyCCAT, will be undertaking the first ever study of Blue Carbon stocks within the Seychelles archipelago.
Blue carbon ecosystems (i.e. mangroves, seagrass beds, saltmarsh) are among earth’s most efficient carbon sinks, burying carbon up to 40-50 times faster than tropical rainforests and locking away carbon in the ground for millennial time scales.
Accounting for the ocean’s carbon offsetting capacity can help Seychelles remain a net carbon sink and achieve its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Further, many of the costs of achieving emission reductions in the energy and transport sectors could be met through international climate financing and Blue Carbon markets.
In addition to sequestering carbon, blue carbon ecosystems provide other important ecosystem services: they support fisheries, enhance biodiversity, and protect shorelines from erosion, extreme weather events and sea level rise.
The project was developed by chief scientific advisor of The James Michel Foundation, Ameer Ebrahim, in collaboration with world renowned scientist, associate professor Peter Macreadie, and his team from Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
“Our research proposal seeks to explore the Seychelles’ Blue Carbon future, by developing a first-pass assessment of potential Blue Carbon opportunities in the Seychelles and building local capacity and literacy on Blue Carbon. We will do this by engaging the youth, scientists and local communities of the Seychelles,” explains Associate Professor Macreadie.
The study is aimed at having a better understanding of marine assets that directly mitigate climate change and reduce ocean risks like coastal erosion and sea level rise.
“This project is a first for Seychelles, and it is an absolute honour to have a leader in Blue Carbon research, Professor Macreadie, and his team collaborate with us and help put Seychelles on the world stage of Blue Carbon research,” said Mr Ebrahim.
The James Michel Foundation is thankful to SeyCCAT for the facilitation of financial support towards the project.
Contributed by The James Michel Foundation