This webinar originally aired on January 18, 2024.

Presented by: Chloe King of the University of Cambridge

Description: Blue carbon ecosystems, such as seagrass, capture and store high quantities of carbon dioxide and provide a range of other benefits to coastal communities by supporting fisheries, sheltering coastlines, and filtering water. Yet these ecosystems continue to be underfunded and insufficiently represented in marine management policy. Recent research explored the challenges and opportunities for valuing, financing, and managing seagrass ecosystem services through a systematic map of 56 studies and surveys and interviews with 84 conservation professionals. Results show that in both literature and in practice, monetary and biophysical ecosystem service value indicators are more prevalent than socio-cultural indicators; instrumental values prevail over intrinsic and relational values; and academic and anthropocentric knowledge systems and worldviews prevail over Indigenous, local, or ecocentric perspectives. The lack of diverse valuation approaches has led to an over-emphasis on carbon sequestration benefits, despite the infeasibility of carbon financing for small-scale seagrass projects. If seagrass conservation efforts are to succeed at scale, then a range of innovative valuation approaches will be necessary to address equity and justice concerns in enabling community-led initiatives.

Hosted by: OCTO and IUCN on behalf of SEA Success, a UNDP Ocean Innovation Challenge project (https://oceaninnovationchallenge.org)

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