Seagrass meadows: A nature-based solution to climate change.

A new study estimates blue carbon in the seagrass meadows of southeast Asia, and their potential for climate change mitigation.

Seagrass ecosystems are known to contribute to climate change mitigation by storing large amounts of organic carbon. In fact, recent research has shown that one hectare of seagrass can soak up as much carbon dioxide each year as 15 hectares of rainforest.

A new study by Stankovic et al. estimates the blue carbon stocks in seagrass ecosystems in southeast Asia. The research concludes that the region’s seagrass meadows have a huge capacity to store organic carbon, with the total value of these sequestration services amounting to up to 24 million USD every year.

Seagrass blue carbon is not included in nationally determined contributions to the 2030 CO2 reduction goal, even though it has the potential to contribute to up to 7% of the countries’ goal.   Although the study acknowledges that blue carbon financial mechanisms and policies are underdeveloped, it highlights the importance of promoting the potential of seagrass meadows as a practical scheme for nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation, especially since seagrass meadows in southeast Asia are rapidly disappearing due to several factors, including pollution and coastal development

The full article is available here.

Stankovic, M. et al. (2021). Quantification of blue carbon in seagrass ecosystems of Southeast Asia and their potential for climate change mitigation. Science of the Total Environment. 156858.