The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute, as part of the Technical Working Group of the Blue Carbon Initiative in the Philippines, attended the 3-day workshop conducted by the Climate Change Commission, which aims to convene the members of the steering committee (SC) and technical working group (TWG) to develop the national blue carbon initiative road map.
According to the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Blue Carbon is the carbon captured by the ocean and coastal ecosystem. Coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and sea grasses sequester carbon, most of which are stored below ground, at a much faster rates that forests (NOAA, 2017). The coastal blue carbon ecosystems are natural mitigation tools for climate change with the ability to sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide. In addition to its mitigation potential, the blue carbon ecosystems also provide multiple adaptation services such as protection from storm surges and sea level rise, prevention of erosion along shorelines, regulation of coastal water quality and food security, among others (Climate Change Commission, 2018).
The Blue Carbon Initiative Roadmap shall serve as a guide in developing climate change resilient coastal communities through the protection and conservation of coastal blue carbon ecosystems. The roadmap has five stages namely: preparation, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and policy formulation.
Specifically, the workshop aimed to:
- Develop a comprehensive Blue Carbon Roadmap detailing the plans, programs, policies and other activities for the National Blue Carbon Initiative;
- Create a work plan of the activities on Blue Carbon for 2018 onwards; and
- Identify the core members and other members of the TWG and assign focal and alternate for each institution.
The 3-day workshop is composed of 12 sessions including an introduction to the blue carbon initiative, presentation of existing projects related to blue carbon ecosystems in the Philippines, five stages of the road map, pre-finalization of the roadmap, steering committee and technical working group operationalization, and other concerns.
In addition, the participants also discussed key problems and impacts in the development of framewok/lens, institutional arrangement, national-local interface, awareness and capacities, tools and methodologies, and relationship of policy and science in relation to Blue Carbon Ecosystem.
NOAA. What is Blue Carbon, National Ocean Service Website, https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/bluecarbon.html, 10/10/17.
Climate Change Commission. Background Information on Workshop on the Creation of the National Blue Carbon Initiative Roadmap. 19-21 March 2018. Quezon City.