Blue Carbon, Treasure Hidden in Wetlands

Costa Rica News – Mangroves and wetlands could be the right way to reach the goal of a carbon neutral country by 2021. Mangroves are ecosystems that could have a positive impact through the ‘Blue Carbon’ they produce. In fact, they generate much more than terrestrial forests.

What is Blue Carbon?

Blue Carbon is one of the most promising new ideas to reduce atmospheric CO2 and limit global climate change by conserving mangroves, sea grasses and salt marsh grasses. Such coastal vegetation, dubbed “blue carbon”, sequesters carbon far more effectively (up to 100 times faster) than terrestrial forests.

One of the major challenges that have faced the mangroves is the change in the use of its soil, through deforestation and degradation (a process which reduces forest cover) to shrimp production. That is why the world has lost significant amount of carbon, because 80% is stored in sediments.

Blue Carbon in mangroves is not really in the trees but in the mangrove mud, because they are like filters that grab all the material erosion in the watershed. Such soils have up to 6 meters deep.

These environments are extremely vulnerable to climate change and are acting as a barrier, absorbing through their roots.

Due to advances in tourism projects near these areas, have lost at least 4 thousand hectares of mangroves in the last 20 years.

Most of the country’s mangroves are located in the Pacific region and currently 40% of the carbon stored in Costa Rica is in the Térraba-Sierpe, which stores up to 440 tons per hectare, which both grow on trees as what is stored in the soil.

Neotrópica Foundation launched the program last August “Blue Carbon Community”, supported by the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and communities of the Osa Peninsula. This reforestation project holds approximately 4,000 mangrove trees.

For now there is no percentage of carbon fixation with wetlands nationally because the topic has been developed recently, but there is now an inventory database that would be able to measure and determine the change and growth that is there.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica

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