GRID-Arendal helps draw attention to importance of coastal 'blue carbon' ecosystemsMarrakesh — Mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses are being highlighted at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting now underway in Morocco for their role in climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.GRID-Arendal was invited to talk about its work on blue carbon and the UN Environment/Global Environment Facility Blue Forests Project at a high-level side event for the International Partnership for Blue Carbon today at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakesh.The event was led by Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment for the United Arab Emirates, and Josh Frydenberg, Australian Minister for the Environment and Energy. Participants were asked to talk about the importance of blue carbon to their country or organisation, what action it is talking on blue carbon, and the benefits of working together through the International Partnership for Blue Carbon.This significant interest in blue carbon follows COP 21 last year in Paris where the partnership was announced. Since that time blue carbon has been included in many national climate actions submitted to the UNFCCC.On Saturday, GRID-Arendal and partners released the first inventory and analysis of blue carbon related climate actions in Marrakesh. This work examines how blue carbon ecosystems are recognized in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCC [Policy brief, Inventory]. The reports illustrate that many countries have identified measures that harness these benefits in their NDCs. Twenty-eight countries have included a reference to coastal wetlands in relation to climate mitigation, and 59 countries are including coastal ecosystems and the coastal zone in their climate adaptation strategies."We hope that this international recognition of the value of coastal blue carbon ecosystems will be a game changer for their protection and conservation," said Steven Lutz, Blue Carbon Programme Lead for GRID Arendal. "This action signals National endorsement of the blue carbon approach and greatly increases the potential impacts of initiatives such as UNEP/GEF Blue Forests Project and the International Partnership for Blue Carbon."Additional information:Policy brief: Coastal blue carbon ecosystems. Opportunities for Nationally Determined Contributions: http://bluecsolutions.org/dev/wp-content/uploads/BC-NDCs_FINAL.pdfBlue Carbon – Nationally Determined Contributions Inventory. Appendix to: Coastal blue carbon ecosystems. Opportunities for Nationally Determined Contributions: http://bluecsolutions.org/dev/wp-content/uploads/Blue-Carbon-NDC-Appendix.pdfThis article was originally published at GRID-Arendal news.