A think tank for Blue Carbon

The problem: blue carbon ecosystem are being degraded 

Mangroves, salt marshes, and sea grasses are among the most carbon rich ecosystems on the planet. The importance of these systems in storing carbon is now well established. These systems also contribute directly to the wellbeing of people by providing a home for fish, crabs, mollusks, and in the case of mangroves, bees that support livelihoods and food. Mangroves and salt marshes also serve an important role in the protection of shorelines that will become increasingly at risk due to sea level rise.   Unfortunately, these coastal ecosystems have been seriously damaged. During the last 50 years, we have lost more than half the aerial extent of these habitats. Rates of mangrove deforestation and loss are among the highest of any of the world’s ecosystems. 

Why A Focus on Francophone Countries?

Francophone countries are home to all three types of blue carbon ecosystems, with tens of millions of people dependent on these vegetated habitats.  Mangroves are found in at least 26 Francophone countries.  This is 21% of the world’s countries with mangrove forests (Table1). And, Francophone countries comprise over 60% of the countries in Africa with mangroves. Rates of habitat loss in francophone blue carbon habitats exceed 3% annually.

While France is home to a powerful group of scientists focusing on the ecology, hydrology, geography, and fisheries aspects of blue carbon ecosystems, most of the world’s expertise on the carbon science of these ecosystems remains outside of the French-speaking world. As a result, these systems remain insufficiently documented and studied and our ability to manage, protect and restore these ecosystems is critically impaired in the francophone world. 

Check our proposal for the Blue Carbon Think Tank!