Blue Carbon is the carbon captured by the world’s coastal ocean ecosystems, mostly mangroves, salt marshes, seagrasses and potentially macroalgae.
Research on the role of vegetated coastal ecosystems has highlighted their potential as highly efficient carbon sinks and led to the scientific recognition of the term “Blue Carbon“, designating carbon that is fixed via coastal ocean ecosystems, rather than traditional land ecosystems, like forests.
A Blue Carbon REDD+ Project represents a countries’ efforts to achieve Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (+).
Although the ocean’s vegetated habitats cover less than 0.5% of the seabed, they are responsible for more than 50%, and potentially up to 70%, of all carbon storage in ocean sediments. Mangroves, Salt marshes and seagrasses make up the majority of the ocean’s vegetated habitats but only equal 0.05% of the plant biomass on land. Despite their small footprint, they can store a comparable amount of carbon per year and are highly efficient carbon sinks. Seagrasses, mangroves and salt marshes can capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere by sequestering the C in their underlying sediments, in underground and below-ground biomass, and in dead biomass.