Achieving carbon offsets through mangroves and other wetlands
The Danone-IUCN-Ramsar partnership will be hosting a three day expert workshop on "Achieving carbon offsets through mangroves and other wetlands" from 9 to 11 November at the IUCN/Ramsar Headquarters.
In recent years there has been increasing attention, including through processes implemented under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to seeking to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions through projects designed to restore ecosystems, or maintain existing ecosystems, as carbon stores. Much of this attention has focused on forest ecosystems, but there is increasing attention being given to wetland ecosystems, particularly peatlands.
There is now increasing evidence, including through recent work undertaken by the Ramsar Convention’s Scientific & Technical Review Panel (STRP), that some types of wetlands (both inland and coastal wetlands) are also important in the global carbon cycle, including as carbon stores – noting also that a significant proportion of the world’s forests are forested wetlands. Such wetland systems include temperate and tropical peatlands, and vegetated intertidal wetlands, salt marshes and mangroves. The challenge is to fully assess and measure carbon in wetlands since for many wetlands much of their carbon is in soils rather than above ground as for forests.
In recognition of this important carbon service provided by wetlands, a number of initiatives are underway to establish and implement mechanisms for achieving carbon offset through carbon markets, including voluntary standards for wetlands. In October 2008, at the Ramsar Convention’s 10th meeting of its Contracting Parties (Changwon, Republic of Korea), a trilateral agreement, the Danone Fund for Nature (DFN) was signed between the Ramsar Convention, IUCN, and the private sector Danone Group to develop and implement a mechanism for financing delivery of carbon offsets for the Danone Group through wetland restoration projects that are in line with the principles and practices of the Ramsar Convention.
The initial focus of attention under the DFN concerns the restoration of mangrove wetlands for carbon storage and offsets. IAn initial pilot project on mangrove restoration in Senegal, and funded from the initiative, is underway aiming to provide an initial test of the initiative’s approach and to derive lessons learned for the further development of the initiative and its transfer to restoration projects, which may also give priority to mangrove restoration.
The November 2009 Expert Workshop will bring together those directly involved in the implementation of the Danone Fund for Nature with a wider group of experts from other organizations working in one or more aspects of wetland restoration, carbon offsets and markets, to review and advise on the further development of the Danone-IUCN-Ramsar initiative. The outputs will be relevant to further implementations of the DFN but also to the work of other organizations and processes addressing issues of carbon and wetlands.
Dates and venue
The expert workshop will take place Monday 9 November to Wednesday 11 November 2009 at the IUCN/Ramsar headquarters, 28 Rue Mauverney, 1196 Gland, Switzerland.
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