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Blue carbon workshop today | 02 March 2020

2020 is a pivotal year for ocean and climate change. In line with the Paris Agreement, all countries should provide a revised and more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution by 2020.

As part of the efforts of Seychelles to do this, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change is partnering with the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) to deliver a revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that integrates coastal wetlands, that is, blue carbon habitats, within the NDCs.

NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.

A workshop themed ‘Blue carbon workshop – State of knowledge of seagrass habitats in Seychelles’ happening today at the Nayopi Business Centre, Providence, will bring together a variety of stakeholders and partners, to better understand the state of knowledge of seagrass habitats in Seychelles and identify the potential sites for field work. During this two-year project, this scheme will benefit from local expertise, including that of the Blue Economy Research Institute and international expertise of Pew Charitable Trusts, The Nature Conservancy, and the University of Oxford.

Coastal wetlands such as mangroves, seagrass beds and salt marshes are highly effective at absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and ocean, buffering coastlines, creating essential habitats for numerous species and supporting local economies. These ecosystems, can therefore play a vital role in international efforts to lessen the impacts of climate change as nature-based solution (NbS). 

Coastal wetlands have the potential to sequester three to five times the amount of carbon per acre when compared to forest ecosystems.

This Coastal Wetlands and Climate Change project focuses on the potential for carbon sequestration and storage of seagrass. It will see a mapping of seagrass meadows across the entire exclusive economic zone of Seychelles, field work on specific sites, and building of local capacity to support the management of the seagrass ecosystems for sustainability. This information will be integrated into the Seychelles’ next NDC.

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