CPO has developed a briefing sheet for the newly launched NOAA Blue Carbon Inventory (BCI) Project. The project will harness the expertise of multiple U.S. agencies and partners to advance the development of tools, approaches, and capacity for integrating coastal blue carbon, such as seagrasses and mangroves, in the preparation of national greenhouse gas inventories (NGGI) in select developing countries.
Countries are striving to meet international obligations to report national greenhouse gas inventories of emissions and sinks to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the follow up to the Paris Climate Agreement, Parties established the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) to strengthen reporting on national progress made, including mitigation efforts. Under the ETF, Parties are updating their NGGI reporting, with the aim by 2024 to be based upon the most recent guidance, including that of the 2013 IPCC Supplement to the 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: “Wetlands” (the Wetlands Supplement). While coastal wetlands or “blue carbon” (mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrasses) play a significant role in the storage and sequestration of greenhouse gases, they are particularly challenging to include in inventories, and so far only a few countries, including the United States, have done so.
The NOAA BCI Project aims to support countries in including coastal wetlands within their NGGIs and translating enhanced monitoring of emissions from wetlands into improved mitigation and coastal and marine management. Led by CPO in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the NOAA Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center, the BCI Project will leverage new and ongoing activities conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (USDA/FS), the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the broader global ecosystem of organizations and communities working in blue carbon-related science, management and policy.
The NOAA BCI Project is part of a broader U.S. program called the Transparency Accelerator for Greenhouse Gas Inventories, and is intended to foster the development of emissions mitigation, coastal resource management and resilience strategies that reflect the value of coastal ecosystems in carbon storage and sequestration. Such strategies can generate co-benefits for adaptation by protecting coastal communities from storms, waves, erosion and flooding; protecting biodiversity; and providing ecosystem services that support livelihoods, culture, food security, water quality, recreation and tourism.