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CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

Wetlands and blue carbon

Wetlands and blue carbon

CIFOR-ICRAF is helping to put carbon-rich wetlands – including peatlands, mangroves,– on the Global Wetland Map.

Tropical peatlands are one of the least understood and monitored ecosystems, but recent research shows they’re critical for climate change mitigation and adaptation. They also provide food, medicine, timber and habitat for endangered species.

CIFOR-ICRAF has led groundbreaking and award-winning research on wetlands, including a pivotal 2011 discovery that mangroves store 3–5 times more carbon than other tropical forests, most of it in the soil1. In 2017, research using the Global Wetlands Map2 revealed there is three times more peat worldwide than previously thought3. Now the team is ramping up research and engagement to put a global spotlight on the value of these critical but fragile ecosystems.

One exciting route to lowering emissions is ‘blue carbon’ – the organic carbon that mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrass, seaweed and other coastal and marine ecosystems capture and store. Since this could be a game-changer when it comes to meeting countries’ emissions targets, researchers are trying to fill in the blanks on blue carbon’s potential to tackle climate change.

Contact us

Daniel Murdiyarso

Principal Scientist

Kristell Hergoualc’h

Senior Scientist

Wetlands and blue carbon: Fast facts

In the last half century, over of wetlands have been lost4
Halting and reversing this loss through restoration could offer 14% of the nature-based solution to mitigate climate change5

 

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1 Donato DC et al. 2011. Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics. Nature Geoscience 4:293–297. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1123; Murdiyarso D et al. 2015. The potential of Indonesian mangrove forests for global change mitigation. Nature Climate Change 5(12):1089–1092. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE 2734.
2 http://www.cifor.org/global-wetlands
3 Murdiyarso D et al. 2017. New map reveals more peat in the tropics. Infobrief. Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR.