D. Blue Carbon: An Opportunity for Coastal Conservation in the Philippines
This paper provides information on the importance of coastal ecosystems to maintaining human-well-being and biodiversity. It aims to promote a better understanding of the bene"ts and ecosystems services values of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrasses as these contribute to the ability of people to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Coastal ecosystems such as mangroves help reduce vulnerabilities of coastal communities to storm surges and sea level rise. Aside from these, mangroves have the ability to store carbon. The presentation hopes to increase the awareness and understanding of participants of the Regional Mangrove Conference (organized by Ateneo de Manila University, Conservation International, Foundation for Philippine Environment, DENR – Biodiversity Management Bureau, and other stakeholders and partners) of their role in protecting this important ecosystem and ensuring that mangroves are recognized as important natural resources that they are. CI-Philippines has been working with communities and partners to find solutions to reduce the risks of climate change; this involved promoting ecosystembased approaches to adaptation and demonstrating the importance of natural systems. In recent years there has also been growing recognition of coastal blue carbon in mitigating the impacts of climate change. While much more work is needed to better understand the co-bene"ts of mangrove, coastal blue carbon should be seen as an opportunity for coastal conservation in the Philippines and a national blue carbon initiative must be undertaken not only by experts and conservation organizations but also by national government agencies.
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