The yearly IORA Blue Carbon Hub Think Tank advancing Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Resilience

The IORA Blue Carbon Hub in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime and Investment Affairs recently hosted the Hub’s annual think-tank workshop on the 12-14 September, in Nusa Dua (Bali, Indonesia). The theme of the event was ‘Nature-based Solutions for Coastal Adaptation’.

Mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes play a significant role in Earth’s carbon cycle and are referred to as ‘blue carbon ecosystems’. These ecosystems support food security and livelihoods, including by supporting fisheries and tourism. They absorb and sequester carbon dioxide, so they also have an important role in climate change mitigation. They also offer potential solutions to help coastal communities adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change. For example, intact blue carbon ecosystems — especially mangroves — reduce the effects of waves from storms and tsunamis. Ecosystem-based adaptation, including integration of natural ecosystems with other adaptation actions like seawalls, can provide resilience against rising sea levels and natural disasters, while also providing additional benefits. Effective management of these ecosystems permits multiple development goals to be covered through a single policy framework that integrates blue economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness.

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The think tank focused on the current challenges and impediments with harnessing coastal ecosystems (with particular focus on blue carbon ecosystems) as nature-based solutions for adaptation options. Experts from around the world shared their knowledge with delegates from IORA Member States, in sessions that included adaptations to physical risks to infrastructure, adaptations to enhance livelihood resilience, as well as policy and finance frameworks.