Biodiversity & Ecosystem Management Headlines

Pacific Conversations with SPREP: What's wet and green and linked to climate change?

In June this year, the Pacific islands are amplifying their voice at the United Nations Ocean Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York, focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life Below Water.  This Pacific Conversation raises the role of wetlands in our Pacific, providing you with more information to help make a difference in our region.

                                                        Wetlands


If you guessed seagrass, coastal marshes, and mangroves, you're right! Wetlands are precious Pacific ecosystems that build our islands, protect us from waves and storms, and turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into their biomass.
Ecosystems that fix and store CO2 are called 'blue carbon' systems. The ocean takes up about 30% of the extra CO2 we produce. Blue carbon systems are even more important now that global CO2 levels are rising.
Wetlands are our carbon allies. But wetlands are being destroyed every year. The destruction releases 0.15 to 1.02 billion tonnes of CO2, that's the same as burning 423 billion litres of petrol, more than the entire commercial airline industry uses in a year!
Coastal marshes and mangroves trap sediments and debris, too, helping to keep lagoons crystal clear. Areas without their marshes and mangroves suffer more erosion, leading to loss of land.
Seagrasses can help slow nearby ocean acidification, so seagrasses and reefs are the ocean's power couple.
Coral reefs are also wetlands. Reefs block 90% of the energy from ocean waves, keeping our islands from washing away. When coral reefs do break down, they make sand that feeds our shores.
When you build away from wetlands, plant a mangrove, avoid excessive garden fertilisers, and ask for shoreline areas to be conserved, you are saving the ocean—and saving us too.
Help give voice to this Pacific Conversation – learn more about wetlands in the Pacific.  Take time for two pages for the ocean: check out UNEP and SPREP Factsheets.
Join the Pacific Conversation.
#SaveOurOcean #4PacIslands
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