UNESCO recently published a report titled UNESCO Marine World Heritage: Custodians of the globe’s blue carbon assets, the first scientific assessment of the blue carbon ecosystems in the marine sites on the World Heritage List. The Prince’s Government supported the work to produce this study.
Seagrasses, salt marshes and mangroves make up what scientists have termed blue carbon ecosystems. Their survival is vital – by absorbing and storing large quantities of carbon from the atmosphere and the ocean, they help to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The UNESCO research highlights the essential value of the marine sites on the World Heritage List, which comprise at least 21% of the total area of these ecosystems and 15% of global blue carbon assets.
The report estimates the crucial contribution made by these sites and recommends specific strategies for blue carbon conservation. In its conclusions, it then sets out the way forward to preserve these areas and proposes the implementation of actions to address the issue.
During a press conference held by UNESCO on 2 March to mark publication of the report, the authors highlighted the importance of Monaco’s support in producing this study and noted the Prince’s Government’s contribution to the UNESCO World Heritage Marine Programme.