Article | 15 Nov, 2016

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems in NDCs

Conservation and restoration of coastal ecosystems, specifically tidal salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests, are excellent examples of nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation. These coastal ecosystems sequester and store huge amounts of carbon from our atmosphere, and are often referred to as blue carbon ecosystems.

content hero image

Photo: © TNC/ Ethan Daniels

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems       Photo: IUCN
The Paris Agreement was adopted by all 196 Parties to the UNFCCC at COP21 in December 2015. This landmark agreement marked a turning point with nations now striving for a low-carbon economy using innovation in technology, energy, finance, and conservation sectors. The Agreement entered into force on November 4th 2016, less than one year since its adoption.

This brief outlines how Parties have included and addressed the management of coastal wetland (blue carbon) ecosystems in their NDC climate mitigation and adaptation solutions to date. It also offers a short outlook on areas where coastal wetlands contributions can be improved and strengthened in the future, allowing for more ambitious future NDC submissions. In many coastal nations these ecosystems provide a significant mitigation and adaptation value, both as a carbon sink and as coastline protection and food security, respectively. Thus, the inclusion of coastal ecosystems can be considered an important asset in a more ambitious revision of the NDC for many Parties.

This brief is accompanied by a Supplement document which outlines the NDCs in all detail.