Help Us Create a Greener (and Bluer)
Offset Your Seafood Summit 2012 Travel- and Participation- Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions- and for the First Time, Offset with 'Blue Carbon' in the Ocean!
|Richard Unsworth/Marine Photobank
SeaWeb recognizes that in the course of our work, including
the Seafood Summit, we affect our wider environment. We endeavor to reduce that impact wherever possible and readily acknowledge that we cannot eliminate it altogether while completing our necessary organizational activities. Thus we are offsetting the estimated carbon emissions from the 2012 International Seafood Summit activities through The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow!
Seafood Choices will offset carbon emission from the core activities of the Seafood Summit and its attendees at the Kowloon Shangri-La in Hong Kong. In addition to core Seafood Summit activities, delegates’ travel is an issue. As part of the Summit registration process, Seafood Choices has offered all delegates the opportunity to offset their own carbon emissions incurred through air travel.
The Ocean Foundation- SeaGrass Grow!
Through The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow! project, Seafood Choices is offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from the core activities of the 2012 International Seafood Summit. Seafood Choices has chosen The Ocean Foundation as our offset partner due to its focus on ocean habitats in developing a new way to naturally offset greenhouse gas emissions in the ocean – known as “Blue Carbon.” As such, the 2012 International Seafood Summit is a premier, global stage-setting opportunity for advancing blue carbon, an exciting and emerging concept that addresses climate change and promotes marine conservation.
The natural coastal ecosystems of seagrasses, tidal marshes, and mangroves take up and sequester large quantities of carbon in both the plants and in the sediment below them. If these ecosystems are degraded or damaged by human activities, their capacity as carbon sinks is lost. Recent studies on mangrove forests, salt marshes, and seagrasses even suggest that these areas could play significant roles in future climate mitigation (if restored and protected). However, there are many questions to be answered before the opportunity that blue carbon systems present can be fully evaluated. For example, how much carbon do coastal ecosystems store compared to other ecosystems? Are carbon storage rates different in different parts of the ocean? And based on this, how economical are investments in blue carbon ecosystem options for climate mitigation? Does it have a place in the potential carbon markets? Could preserving blue carbon options also significantly contribute to promoting habitat protection and thus biodiversity?
The Ocean Foundation and others are investing in finding answers to these questions, and are beginning to get results. Confirmation of key blue carbon attributes includes:
- Seagrass ecosystems store more carbon per square kilometer than forests!
- Seagrass meadows can protect nearby coral reefs and other calcifying organisms, including mollusks, from the effects of ocean acidification.
To jump-start this cutting edge focus on natural coastal ecosystems, The Ocean Foundation created SeaGrass Grow! to restore seagrass habitat that offers protection from storms and prevention of shoreline erosion, and also locally fixes carbon (to slow ocean acidification) and stores carbon (with long-term sequestration). Healthy seagrass meadows also support tourism, food security, and both commercial and recreational fishing. And, in addition to providing nurseries for fish, seagrass meadows also offer grazing opportunities for endangered sea turtles, manatees, and dugongs.
In conjunction with its work to restore lost and damaged seagrass meadows, The Ocean Foundation also works to preserve blue carbon across the globe. The Ocean Foundation hosts the Blue Climate Coalition, which seeks enhanced international recognition of the opportunities to certify carbon credits in coastal carbon ecosystems, and facilitate the inclusion of the carbon value of coastal ecosystems in the accounting of ecosystem services. Thus, The Ocean Foundation will, in the future, offer real and permanent emissions offsets that are credible, and carbon sequestration that is verifiable. Presently The Ocean Foundation is “banking” the square kilometers of restoration in anticipation of certification, and, thus will also have developed a network of demonstration projects.
The Ocean Foundation acknowledges Columbia Sportswear and Absolut Vodka as donor-partners who have made this blue carbon effort possible.
|Richard Unsworth/Marine Photobank
About The Ocean Foundation
The Ocean Foundation (TOF) is a unique community foundation with a mission to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. TOF delivers on its slogan “…Tell us what you want to do for the ocean; We will take care of the rest.” We work with a diverse community of donors who care about the coasts and ocean. In this manner, TOF grows the financial resources available to support marine conservation in order to promote healthy ocean ecosystems and benefit the human communities that depend on them. We use a well-established business model (the community foundation) to serve donors and partners interested in marine conservation. Thus, TOF focuses on increasing the capacity of conservation organizations, hosting projects and funds, and supporting those working to improve the health of ocean species globally. TOF’s human community includes the donors, governments and grantees that are engaged in ocean conservation all over the world. TOF has grantees, partners and projects on all the world’s continents. The Ocean Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of individuals with significant experience in marine conservation philanthropy, complemented by an expert, professional staff, and a growing international advisory board of scientists, policy makers, educators, legal specialists, and other top experts. For more information, please visit www.oceanfdn.org
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