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Blue Forests Fundamentals

Better coastal ecosystem management is achieved by harnessing the values associated with carbon and ecosystem services of blue forests. When the value of blue forests is recognized in science, policy, and by the people who live, work in, and depend on these ecosystems it can lead to long term  healthy and sustainable ecosystems and communities. 

Timelapse changing tides of the mangroves

Timelapse changing tides of the mangroves

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Crabs of Andalemezo

Crabs of Andalemezo

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What are blue forests ecosystems?

"Blue forests" are coastal and marine ecosystems, including mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and tidal salt marshes. They play an important role in protecting marine biodiversity and supporting the livelihoods of coastal and island communities by providing habitats for fisheries, filtering water, guarding shorelines and creating opportunities for tourism and recreation.

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What is blue carbon?

Coastal blue carbon refers to the carbon stored in the biomass and sediments of in coastal and marine ecosystems (e.g., blue forests), in both plant biomass and sediments below. Vegetated coastal habitats are estimated to bury 70 per cent of the carbon sequestered in oceans, despite only comprising 0.5 per cent of the ocean’s surface area.

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What is oceanic blue carbon?

Oceanic blue carbon includes the carbon stored through the actions of marine life, from krill to whales. Understanding how marine vertebrates contribute to carbon storage can help recognize their potential role in climate change mitigation. Recent science has identified that marine life may have a role to play in the global climate challenge through natural mechanisms of carbon cycling in all marine ecosystems, from shallow coasts to ocean depths. Marine management and sustainable fishing practices, which support healthy populations of marine vertebrates, may help secure the capacity of the oceans to take up and store carbon, and thereby mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

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