The NOAA Blue Carbon Inventory (BCI) Project—an initiative led by CPO in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the NOAA Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center—is among the first Ocean Decade actions endorsed and announced this week by the United Nations Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC). The announcement on World Ocean Day of more than 60 actions is the first batch of UN Decade action endorsements and is meant to encourage greater participation, collaboration, and co-development from around the world.
The international NOAA BCI project will support countries’ efforts to integrate coastal wetlands into their National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. These inventories provide a transparent mechanism for tracking and assessing the status of coastal wetlands and their role in carbon sequestration and storage. The inclusion of this information in NGGIs can lead to enhanced protection and restoration of critical coastal wetlands, as well as contribute to climate mitigation. Wetlands provide important fish habitats, recreational opportunities, and coastal protection from storm surge, especially in light of rising sea levels.
The first group of actions were endorsed for their ability to produce knowledge for sustainable development; for their use of innovative technology; for their cross disciplinary approach to design solutions between scientists and ocean science users; and for their respect for inclusivity by empowering women, early career professionals, and those who hold indigenous knowledge across these ocean actions.
There will be more calls for actions, providing opportunities to develop or support new programs and become part of the Ocean Decade’s knowledge revolution, according to the IOC news release.
The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyze new opportunities for sustainable development of our world’s largest ecosystem. It involves all UN members, nongovernmental groups, industry, philanthropy, early-career scientists, and diverse communities.