On Tuesday, June the 9th, the Blue Forests Project was presented before the French Ministry of Environment and the French Ministry of Foreign affairs. This event followed the celebration of the World Ocean Day, on the 8thand was a seminar organized by the University of West Brittany in Brest (UBO), through its Center for the Law and Economics of the Sea (AMURE), with the support of both French ministries. The main theme was “Blue Carbon – what scope for mitigation projects currently?” The meeting took place in the Aquarium de la Porte Dorée in Paris.
The aim of this seminar was to underline the current scope of blue carbon projects, and also, amongst others to answer the following questions:
- Which projects could be currently implemented in Blue carbon, and to which extent such projects were relevant alternative tools for climate change mitigation?
- Whether or not to use Blue carbon Mechanism as a mean to identify priority targets, in order to support avoided emissions or for ecosystem restoration?
- What are the synergies and trade-offs between blue carbon and climate change adaptation?
- How should the actions and allocation of funding be prioritized?
- Which level of action (national or international) is more relevant for the development of blue carbon solution on the short term?
- What are the synergies and trade off between blue carbon and climate change adaptation?
- What are the obstacles to the integration of adaptation and mitigation actions on blue carbon?
The debates were very animated, and it was one of the Blue Forest partners, Lindwood Pendleton, from UBO) that had one of the most encouraging statement of the day: “There is a consensus (among us) to say that there is an importance of habitats. There is also a consensus that protection and restoration are possible. There is some evidence that if you could pay for carbon assistance it could have some importance.”
The participants were various, and France wasn’t the only country listening to the debates as both the United States and Monaco as well as Sweden had representatives. There were also many research centers, NGOs (notably the Platform Ocean Climate which is a network of NGOs dedicated to highlighting the strong link between Climate and Ocean) and intergovernmental organizations, such as UNESCO, OECD and OSPAR.
Dorothee Herr, from IUCN, partner of the Blue Forests Project gave a very impacting presentation on Coastal Blue Carbon under the UNFCCC and the legal venues available to ensure its discussion during the negotiations of the COP 21. She also used the stand to present the Blue Forests Project before the participants. She detailed the scope of the project as well as its many partners around the globe. In retrospect, although she was among the last speakers, she definitely succeeded to channel a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the participants about the project.
– Laetitia Langlois, Communications Vollunteer, Project Coordiantion Unit, UNEP/GEF Blue Forests Project