Australia Announces Blue Carbon Innitiative

Australia to commit $100 million to ocean conservation in an effort to protect ‘blue carbon’ environments and reduce emissions.

As the world’s only island continent, the country is uniquely suited to care about marine life.

Its investment package will also support Australian Marine Parks, expand the Indigenous Protected Areas in the Sea Country and protection of marine species. Much of the funding will go towards ecosystems that involve seagrass and mangroves, both of which play a key role in drawing carbon out of the atmosphere.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s oceans would be key to the country’s role in driving down emissions. “The climate and the planet’s oceans are inextricably linked. This investment is a major contribution to domestic and international efforts to build healthier oceans and combat climate change,” said Morrison.

“This investment will boost the seagrass and mangroves that will help cut emissions and it’ll mean cleaner beaches, lower fisheries bycatch, more fish stocks, better protection for turtles and seabirds, and help for coastal and Indigenous communities reliant on the ocean for their livelihoods,” reports GNN.

OGN is a huge supporter of marine projects like this and regularly reports on the topic. Why? Because, for example, seagrass meadows and mangrove swamps are substantially better (up to 35 times better!) at capturing carbon than rainforests which, it seems, get most of the media coverage. To this we should add peat bogs, not that the land Down Under has any, but the UK (and elsewhere) most certainly does. To explore further, see:

What's brown and soggy and fights climate change? Protecting intact peatlands and restoring degraded ones are crucial steps if the world is to succeed in its efforts to hold back climate change. Here's an extraordinary fact: Peatlands exist around the world, but make up only about 3 percent of global land area. However, their deep layers of peat are treasure chests of carbon, overall containing roughly twice as much as the world’s forests, which cover 30 percent of global land area. More...

Seagrass meadows: Although rainforests are vital for capturing carbon from the atmosphere, their efficiency is significantly less than that of the seagrass covering the world's sea floor. According to the United Nations Environment Program, the mostly 'unseen' seagrass can capture carbon an amazing 35 times faster than rainforests. More...

Mangroves could help save the world: The coastal trees found in over a hundred countries are increasingly being discussed as a cornerstone of various environmental policies and protection initiatives. These plants are capable of withstanding conditions unlike any other trees - all while fighting climate change and supporting local economies. More...