Decarbonize the World through Blue Carbon Conservation
Blue Carbon Ecosystem
The coastal ecosystems of mangroves, corals, and seagrass meadows are essential for tackling the climate change because of the decarbonization, also it protects coastal area from storms and sea level rise, prevent shoreline erosion, protects habitat for commercially important fisheries and endangered marine species, and food security for many coastal communities. However, blue carbon ecosystems are some of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, with an estimated 340,000 to 980,000 hectares being destroyed each year. When degraded or lost, these ecosystems can become significant sources of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
There are numerous organizations fighting climate change through conservation of blue carbon ecosystem, one of them is CarbonEthics. CarbonEthics is an organization established in mid-2019 aim to restore the climate balance through nature-based solutions with pioneers in blue carbon conservation. They do this through increasing both individual and institutions' awareness about the climate crisis, encouraging people to have a less carbon lifestyle, and restoring blue carbon ecosystems that significantly mitigate the climate crisis. Starting as a not-for-profit organization, CarbonEthics branching to Social Enterprise to provide more climate solutions, such as carbon emission calculation, carbon policy and advocacy, climate-friendly travel, and many more.
We spoke with Indri Addini, the Operations and Science Manager at CarbonEthics, to learn more about blue carbon ecosystem and its relations to the climate change adaptation. Currently, she and her team are running the restoration project in Pulau Harapan, Jakarta; Pulau Dompak, Bintan; Padang Bai, Bali. They plant mangroves, seaweed, and corals with the local community. They also have a coral scholarship program in Padangbai, Bali, that empowering local female youth intending to encourage them to be agents of change and open opportunities for them to pursue green job opportunities.
The Relationship Between the Ocean and the Initiatives that Carbonethics Currently Doing
The ocean is the largest carbon reservoir, namely blue carbon ecosystem. They are mangroves, seagrass meadows, and salt marshes. These ecosystems can store carbon 5-10 times larger than terrestrial ecosystems. The ocean is home to one million species of animals, and more than three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods. Oceans cover 70% of our planet's surface. Unfortunately, the ocean becomes so much more vulnerable as the climate crisis worsens and for the people who live near the sea. The ecosystem of mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef have a synergistic relationship, which leads to coastal environmental stability. In CarbonEthics, they try to bring back nature's balance by conserving the ocean.
Mangroves are able to capture ten times the amount of carbon as forest trees and they store most of it in the sediments around their roots. Which means that, if they are left undisturbed, none of the carbon will be released back into the atmosphere for thousands of years.
CarbonEthics also consider the green infrastructure aspect of the mangrove conservation. Mangrove reforestation establishes green infrastructure for storm-water control and the resilience of the coastal ecology. They're aware of ecosystem services from the mangrove forest, seagrass meadow and coral reefs.
Blue Carbon Offset
By using the carbon calculator in CarbonEthics' website, people know about how much carbon they produce. They also provide learning modules on CarbonEthics' website for everyone to learn more about carbon and climate crisis. It's like an a-z learning center where people can know how this issue started, the impact and the risk, and how people can act to help the earth. They communicate with the farmers very well. Farmers report the data through a simple monitoring form that they have provided. Monitoring data submitted by the farmers will automatically be shared on their website in the section 'Digital Monitoring' so everyone can see it.
The most prominent issue they always encounter is encouraging the community to work in unity. As for the environment, they have to run a complex analysis before starting a project. The research will affect the result of the program. They want all the trees to survive more than 20 years. So they ensure the project site is feasible in many aspects, including land tenure, ecological condition, and implementation method.
They're going to reach another part of Indonesia to restore mangroves and other types of ecosystems with the same goals. They also plan to use several technologies for the upcoming project to cover a more extensive area. If possible, they want to have a chance to implement IoT technology as well.
"The first choice partner to decarbonize the world with meaningful impact."CarbonEthics Vision
As their vision is to decarbonize the world, the support from researchers to provide more data is needed to find the best solution. The government must also keep its commitment to reducing emissions, preventing massive deforestation and degradation, and gradually implementing green technology and supporting green industries. As a community, they encourage and influence government regulation and oversee the implementation.