Symposium studies potential of Blue Carbon 

Photo: CSM/Eric Beraud
Photo: CSM/Eric Beraud

An international multidisciplinary symposium on the role of the oceans in CO2 mitigation has been held as part of Monaco Ocean Week, with the support of the Prince Albert II Foundation and Solas (Safety of Life at Sea).

Dr Nathalie Hilmi, a specialist in Environmental Economics at the Monaco Scientific Centre (CSM) co-organised the event with Dr Christa Marandino of the Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Oceanic Research in Kiel, and Erik Van Doorn of Kiel’s Christian-Albrechts University.

The objective was to carry out an analysis of “Blue Carbon” at the boundaries of the natural and social sciences with an interface with policy makers and stakeholders. The added value has been to associate different disciplines in order to carry out research on this societally relevant subject, largely unexplored to date. The results will be summarised for policy makers and an article to be submitted to a special issue of Frontiers in Marine Science, entitled “The role of the ocean in mitigating CO2.”

Blue Carbon is defined as any carbon stored in the marine domain by processes whose absence would eventually lead to an equivalent amount of carbon released into the atmosphere, taking into account equilibrium absorption or emission associated with other climatic agents. This is why the role of the ocean is crucial in CO2 mitigation: ocean systems (including coastal areas) naturally absorb carbon, but many of these natural processes are disrupted by human activities (coastal development, global warming …) with implications for future storage capacity.

The economic assessment will take into account ecosystem services in coastal, continental shelf and open ocean areas to link them to financial instruments and mechanisms to motivate positive actions and interventions according to regional differences. Governance and legal issues ensure that nation-states benefit from economic mechanisms.

 

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