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Blue Carbon Report to Highlight the Importance of Healthy Oceans
06/ 10/ 2009

Blue Carbon Report to Highlight the Importance of Healthy Oceans Cape Town, 06 October 2009 - The world's oceans, seas and marine ecosystems, such as seagrass, salt marshes and coastal wetlands, are daily absorbing and removing large quantities of carbon from the atmosphere. They are a crucial - and perhaps overlooked - natural ally in strategies to combat climate change.

On Wednesday, 14 October 2009 at 10.30am, a report will be launched at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, South Africa that illustrates how the ocean's carbon capture and storage systems are being undermined by human activity, thereby harming their ability to 'sequester' greenhouse gas emissions.

The Blue Carbon report, compiled in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), puts some hard figures on the carbon capturing potential of the marine environment and on the impact of marine degradation on climate change.

It also outlines the way markets might begin paying developing countries for conserving and enhancing the marine environment's carbon capture and storage services (CCS) and the links between healthy oceans and adaptation to climate change.

Currently, several developed countries are considering spending billions of dollar on CCS at power stations while the CCS services of natural systems, such as the seas and oceans, are tested and probably more cost effective.

The report is launched some 60 days ahead of the crucial UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen.

For more information please contact:
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/Head of Media, on Tel: +254 20 7623084, Mobile: +254 733 632755, or when travelling: +41 795965737, or e-mail:

Catherina (Marina) Joubert, Acting Communications Person for the Diversitas Conference and SOUTHERN SCIENCE, South Africa, Science Communication Editor of SciDev.Net, Tel: +27 83 409 4254.

Further Resources
UNEP Regional Seas Programme
UNEP: Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA)