Issue 8
Monday, 01 October 2018
Charles Darwin University
Ben Brown (centre) and Clint Cameron (back right) at training in Indonesia
Ben Brown (centre) and Clint Cameron (back right) at training in Indonesia

Local expertise to reduce SE Asia’s carbon footprint

By Danielle Lee-Ryder

CDU has developed a new curriculum on harnessing “blue carbon” to help tackle climate change in South East Asia.

Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods researchers Clint Cameron and Ben Brown are the impetus behind an eight-module program designed to train decision-makers in reducing the area’s carbon footprint.

The carbon sequestered and stored by coastal marine ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass and salt marshes is referred to as blue carbon.

Mr Cameron said mangroves stored a lot of carbon, much more than most forests.

“Mangroves occupy only half a per cent of the world’s forest area but sequester upwards of 50 times more per unit area than a rainforest,” he said. “Not only are they better at storing carbon than most forests but cutting them down also causes the release of more greenhouse gases than deforestation.”

South-East Asia’s coastal ecosystems were under threat with many mangroves increasingly converted to aquaculture ponds or oil palm plantations. Protecting and rehabilitating mangroves in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea can help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

CDU has partnered with the International Partnership for Blue Carbon and the Coral Triangle Centre to develop the training.