[Coral-List] Marine conservation solutions to climate change

Steven Lutz stevenlutzmail at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 5 14:36:43 EST 2010


 U.S. Senators Endorse Marine Conservation Solutions to Climate Change

 FL - An international coalition today, thanked the nine U.S. Senators 
who sponsored the Clean Energy Partnerships Act for advancing marine 
conservation as part of the solution to climate change.

The Act 
is focused on mitigating climate change and making the transition to a 
clean energy economy, through offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.. 

 legislation advances marine conservation by including the restoration 
and conservation of certain coastal and marine ecosystems, which capture
 and store atmospheric carbon, in the list of eligible mitigation 
projects.  Other mitigation projects include sustainable agriculture and
 forestry practices.

Recent reports produced by the United 
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Union for 
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that, when healthy, mangrove 
forests, saltwater marshlands and seagrass meadows are extremely 
effective at storing atmospheric carbon, thereby mitigating climate 
change.  The reports are titled ‘Blue Carbon’ and ‘The Management of 
Natural Coastal Carbon Sinks,’ respectfully.

"Restoring seagrass,
 mangroves and salt-marshes is a win-win strategy, because they 
contribute to mitigate climate change through their carbon sink 
potential, that rivals with the Amazonian forest in intensity, but at 
the same time help recover fisheries and protect shorelines" said Prof 
Carlos M. Duarte, co-author of the UNEP report and Director of the 
International Laboratory for Global Change at the Spanish Council for 
Scientific Research.

"For too long we have focused solely on 
terrestrial habitats such as forests, peatlands and certain soil types 
as effective ways to manage natural carbon sinks.  I am delighted that 
this important introduction in the U.S. Senate provides long-awaited 
recognition to these coastal habitats" Prof Dan Laffoley, editor of the 
IUCN report and Marine Vice Chair of IUCN’s World Commission on 
Protected Areas commented. 
"These habitats are shown to lock 
away significant amounts of carbon and this move demonstrates that the 
world-wide loss of such features is not just a significant concern for 
wildlife and coastal communities dependent on them, but also for 
effective management of our carbon sinks and emissions," he added.

 Secretary of Commerce is given a role administering the rules for 
marine offset programs in the Act.

The Clean Energy Partnerships 
Act was introduced by Senator Debbie Ann Stabenow (MI), and co-sponsored
 by Max Baucus (MT), Mark Begich (AK), Sherrod Brown (OH), Robert Casey 
(PA), Thomas Harkin (IA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Bill Nelson (FL), and 
Jeanne Shaheen (NH).

"Our oceans are critically important to 
climate and the global carbon cycle.  This is the first time healthy 
coasts and oceans have been introduced into legislation as part of the 
solution to climate change," said Steven J. Lutz, Executive Director of 
Blue Climate Solutions, the group that organized the coalition effort.  
"The Blue Climate Coalition commends the sponsoring Senators for 
demonstrating strong environmental and climate change leadership."

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