Blue carbon ecosystems include seagrass meadows, tidal marshes and mangroves. They are among the most intensive carbon sinks in the biosphere and play a central role in climate mitigation.
The 50 marine sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List comprise at least 21% of the global area of blue carbon ecosystems and 15% of global blue carbon assets – carbon stores that are equivalent to about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.
Their protection plays a central role in storing carbon from the atmosphere. But degradation of these ecosystem can also release billions of tons of greenhouse gases.