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Australia's work on Blue Carbon

Mangroves in the Boyne River in Gladstone

Mangroves in the Boyne River in Gladstone

Australia is recognised internationally for its leadership on blue carbon.

Blue carbon is the carbon stored in three coastal ecosystems: mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrasses. Protecting and restoring coastal blue carbon ecosystems offers opportunities for carbon sequestration and abatement. Improved management of these ecosystems can also improve fisheries, and increase resilience of coasts to rising sea levels and storm surges.

The Australian Government is involved in three main areas for blue carbon:

The International Partnership for Blue Carbon

The International Partnership for Blue Carbon, launched by Australia in 2015, brings together national governments, non-government organisations, and research institutions to build awareness, share knowledge and accelerate practical action to protect and restore coastal blue carbon ecosystems for climate action.

The Australian Government is supporting countries in the Asia-Pacific to build their capacity to protect coastal blue carbon ecosystems. This includes a $6 million Pacific Blue Carbon Initiative and a $2 million Indonesia-Australia Program. Both programs will strengthen blue carbon expertise and data, support integration of blue carbon into national greenhouse gas accounting and climate policy, and encourage public and private sector investment.

For more information on the Partnership, see the International Partnership for Blue Carbon.

Blue carbon under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance

In October 2018, Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance adopted a resolution on coastal blue carbon ecosystems proposed by Australia. The resolution encourages protection and restoration of these ecosystems by providing practical tools and support.

For more information on the Ramsar Convention involvement in the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, see the Ramsar Convention's website.

Blue carbon and the Emissions Reduction Fund

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) provides incentives for Australian businesses, farmers, land holders and others to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Projects registered under the Fund receive Australian carbon credit units for each tonne of carbon reduction.

The Department has been investigating blue carbon abatement opportunities together with the scientific community, carbon project developers, state governments and others. The current focus is on exploring a potential ERF method for restoration of tidal marsh and mangrove ecosystems through the reintroduction of tidal flow.

To assist with scoping an ERF method for this activity the Department will convene a Blue Carbon Method Working Group and is encouraging blue carbon researchers, state governments, carbon project developers and industry to participate.

Further information