The International Blue Carbon Institute (IBCI) is advancing the science and support systems needed to unlock the full potential of blue carbon to address climate change, protect biodiversity and support threatened coastal communities. Partnering with governments, scientists, organizations and local communities, the IBCI will develop and inform effective policy, finance and implementation strategies for blue carbon ecosystems.
Blue carbon ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrasses, kelp and tidal marshes, are some of the most carbon-rich ecosystems on Earth. They sequester and store large quantities of carbon in the soil and plant matter (both living and dead) and are an essential part of the solution to climate change.
Did you know?
In a single square kilometer, mangroves hold as much carbon as the annual emissions of 35,000 cars.
These ecosystems are also critical to the resilience of coastal communities, naturally fortifying coasts against increasingly intense weather and storm surges, while improving water quality and supporting biodiversity.
Despite their climate mitigation and adaptation capacity, these waterlogged ecosystems are quickly being degraded or destroyed. Globally, mangroves cover only 0.1 percent of the planet’s surface — and that number is quickly shrinking. The historical range of mangroves has been reduced by nearly half, and most of them were cleared in the past five decades. If these places continue to be destroyed, all the carbon they store will be released into the atmosphere. Similarly, the estimated rate of loss of seagrass has been 7 percent each year from runoff and other human activities, and this loss and degradation of seagrass meadows globally has been linked to increased carbon emissions.
Globally, we need to innovate and collaborate to deliver the policy, science and expertise that can accelerate and scale blue carbon projects to protect and restore these ecosystems at the pace we need.
Research and Implementation
The IBCI serves as a crucial global hub for exchanging expertise, knowledge and learning in blue carbon research and implementation. It plays a vital role in effectively translating cutting-edge science into practical tools and methodologies that are harnessing the potential of blue carbon for climate action.
Over the past few decades, Conservation International has led the science and action on blue carbon in close collaboration with governments, research institutions, NGOs and coastal communities around the world.
Now, through the IBCI, Conservation International has expanded our work with various governments to integrate blue carbon into climate change mitigation policies and initiatives at international, regional and local levels.
A Hub in Asia Pacific
The IBCI is based in Singapore with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board, Amazon and other funders. Being in this key location allows us to focus our efforts on supporting Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, home to over one-third of the world’s mangroves and more than 40 percent of the world’s seagrass. The most significant loss of mangroves has also occurred in this region, making it critical to protect this major source of blue carbon.
Additionally, coastal communities throughout the Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands are highly vulnerable to increasingly frequent and severe storms and sea level rise. Blue carbon ecosystems can fortify communities against climate effects while providing fresh water, supporting biodiversity and other natural benefits.
Provide global leadership in the translation of cutting-edge science into tools and methodologies for application of blue carbon for climate mitigation and adaptation.
Build multi-disciplinary capacity in the Asia-Pacific region and globally to research, design, implement and verify high-quality blue carbon programs and projects.
Develop a global knowledge and resource hub for the exchange of blue carbon expertise, knowledge and learning.
Meet the team
Emily Pidgeon, Ph.D
Vice President, Ocean Science and Innovation
Siti Maryam Yaakub, Ph.D
Director, International Blue Carbon Institute