India's Blue Carbon Ecosystems: Climate Action & Challenges

  Nov 02, 2023

The blue carbon initiative in India

It focuses on the importance of coastal ecosystems, including mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes, in combatting climate change and acting as carbon sequestration engines. These ecosystems have the potential to contribute significantly to emission reduction commitments and the blue carbon economy.

Coastal states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, and West Bengal hold vast potential for capitalizing on the blue carbon economy.
Mangroves, in particular, are highlighted for their ability to store carbon and sequester it at high rates. Restoration and protection of blue carbon ecosystems can help reduce emissions.

One mentioned project is the MRV (measuring, reporting, and verifying) initiative involving local communities, primarily fishermen, to monitor the health of mangroves and their carbon content. This initiative empowers communities to safeguard their ecosystems and can serve as a model for other coastal cities.

Commercializing the blue economy is seen as an opportunity, with the potential for an additional 200 million tonnes of CO2 sequestration per year. India, with its significant mangrove cover, is well-positioned to harness this potential.

However, challenges include limited private sector participation due to issues like lack of standardization for determining carbon footprints and credits, data collection lag, and jurisdictional challenges in managing coastal reserves.

Government plays a crucial role in protecting and funding mangroves, while private partners can contribute expertise and technology. Ultimately, these ecosystems should be viewed not just as commodities but as “biodiversity heritage” and a public good.


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