GOB Hosts Two-Day Blue Carbon Workshop
A two-day Blue Carbon Sharing Workshop is being held in Belize to discuss the findings of Belize’s mangrove blue carbon assessment initiative. This initiative is geared at measuring how much blue carbon, which is carbon that is stored in marine ecosystems, is in Belize’s coastal waters and using these findings on educating about the importance of the restoration and protection of blue carbon. Minister of Sustainable Development, Orlando Habet, explains the purpose of this workshop and the targets they are hoping to achieve.
Hon. Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management: “It is very important because through the assistance of the Pew Charitable Trust, the Smithsonian Institute, WWF and of course locally we have had some work done and today they will be reporting – they haven’t done up to yet but the assessment for our national blue carbon as it pertains to mangroves a discussion will ensue on continuing with doing the assessment also for sea grass and hopefully in a discussion we are just having preliminarily if we also agree that they can look at peat that surrounds those areas because it also has potential for carbon. But also the importance of our conservation of those ecosystems which are so very important economically. Of course mangroves are habitats for fish and other marine life. The contribution that it does to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Of course we know what it does when we have our hurricanes and how it prevents coastline erosion and of course the effects of high tides so looking at all that all the benefits economically and physically and for also the survivability of the species but also very importantly the livelihood of our communities especially coastal communities. That assessment also looked at what is above ground carbon for mangroves but what is being presented today is what has been assessed for below ground carbon the sediment which is a lot more than what is above ground in terms of mangrove but very important because what we have is international commitments under the Paris Agreement which Belize is a party to and so we have to make our commitments in terms of emissions reductions and in terms of what we do in terms of conservation. Whatever goes extra goes beyond that, beyond our ambition can be used to market and to monetize so that we can get back some monies to reinvest into nature.”
The workshop is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Forest Department, the Ministry of Blue Economy and the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute along with the World Wildlife Fund and the Pew Charitable Trusts.