In partnership with the James Michel Foundation and Seychelles’ Ministry for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Blue Carbon Lab will develop a “Roadmap to Blue Carbon opportunities in the Seychelles” funded by a 2-year Blue grant from the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Fund (SeyCCAT).
This research proposal seeks to explore the Seychelles’ Blue Carbon future, by developing a first-pass assessment of potential Blue Carbon opportunities in Seychelles and building local capacity on Blue Carbon through a series of on-site workshops.
Coastal ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems (i.e. mangroves, seagrass beds, saltmarsh) are among earth’s most efficient carbon sinks, burying carbon up to 40-times faster than tropical rainforests and locking away carbon in the ground for millennial time scales. In addition to sequestering carbon, blue carbon ecosystems provide other important ecosystem services: they support fisheries, enhance biodiversity, and protect shorelines from erosion, extreme weather events and sea level rise.
Seychelles’ coastal wetlands have declined dramatically as a result of coastal development, and face added pressures with future sea level rise. Accounting for the ocean’s carbon offsetting capacity can help Seychelles remain a net carbon sink and achieve its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
This project will help put Seychelles at the forefront of international efforts to incorporate coastal carbon within CO2 mitigation strategies, while using a natural climate solution – coastal wetlands – to improve water quality, protect the coastline, and contribute to jobs, economic growth and community wellbeing. Importantly, this project will provide new societal and financial impetus for restoration and protection of the Seychelles’ coasts, seeding new environmental markets, and thereby ensuring a legacy of optimal management of coastal ecosystems.
In preparation for the Roadmap, Blue Carbon Lab scientists will soon begin data gathering exercises of all of Seychelles’ maps, stocks . They are expected to visit Seychelles towards the end of the year to run two community engagement events and one training workshop for local stakeholders.