Blue carbon ecosystems include mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes, and are so named because of the twin characteristics of being essentially marine and containing disproportionately high quantities of organic carbon.
Blue carbon ecosystems play a vital role by supporting food security and livelihoods, especially by supporting fisheries and tourism. They can also play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation and there is potential for communities to access carbon finance to enable local protection and restoration efforts. However, when degraded they can become significant sources of greenhouse gases.
Blue carbon allows multiple development goals to be addressed through a single policy framework that incorporates economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness.