Jakarta, 08 August 2022 – Indonesia encourages the world, especially G20 member countries to manage blue carbon ecosystems in a sustainable manner.
In the long term, good and maintained carbon sequestration and storage will help efforts to reduce the impact of climate change.
This is stated by Deputy Minister for Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources, Ministry of National Development Planning /National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), J. Rizal Primana, in a Seminar entitled “Blue Carbon: Enabling Conservation and Financial Capital” at the Nusa Dua Convention Center, Bali, 8 August 2022.
The potential for blue carbon in Indonesia reaches 3.4 Giga Ton (GT) or about 17% of the world’s blue carbon. Its distribution is in coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forests, seagrass beds and peatlands in coastal areas. These coastal ecosystems can help absorb carbon emissions in the atmosphere and oceans, then store them in leaves, stems, branches, roots, and underlying sediments.
Rizal said spatial management and coastal conservation in Indonesia focuses on planning in accordance with sustainable principles, so that the blue carbon ecosystem contributes more to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
If the management continues to be strengthened with adaptation and mitigation towards climate resilience, it is believed that Indonesia will contribute more to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 29 percent nationally, and 41 percent globally until 2030.
Rizal also emphasized that now is the time for this ecosystem to become a top priority in spatial management planning and coastal conservation in Indonesia and globally. Moreover, mangroves and seagrass beds can absorb and store enormous natural carbon (carbon sinks) for a very long time, even more than terrestrial forests.
Preserving coastal ecosystems, both mangrove forests and seagrass beds, can provide benefits such as preventing erosion, protecting public housing from tides, storms, and floods, absorbing pollutants in the air and waters, and becoming a habitat for creatures, especially those living in the coastal area
“We must immediately maintain and rehabilitate our increasingly degraded blue carbon ecosystem,” explained Rizal
The area of seagrass beds in Indonesia is the largest in the world, up to 293,465-875,957 Ha, and can absorb carbon up to 119.5 tons of carbon per hectare. Likewise, Indonesia’s mangroves, which cover an area of 3.3 million hectares, are the largest in the world, and are capable of storing carbon as much as 950 tons of carbon per hectare.
However, according to a study by the Indonesian Research Center for Oceanography in a book entitled Status Ekosistem Lamun di Indonesia 2021 (Status of Seagrass Ecosystems in Indonesia 2021), this ecosystem has decreased by 2.8 percent per year or about 0.4 ha per year in the 2015-2021 period.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s mangroves, according to data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (2020) stated that approximately 637,824.31 hectares (19.28 percent) were in critical condition.
“In the future, we want to ensure that the Blue Carbon ecosystem can enter the NDC (National Determined Contribution). Of course, it must go through sustainable Blue Carbon development planning, and must be supported by the commitment of all parties. To achieve this, we need a framework that can accommodate all parties, ” said Rizal.
At the same time, the Director of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ministry of National Development Planning /National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Sri Yanti added, sustainable blue carbon development must prioritize community-based protection and sustainability efforts. To support these efforts, a financing mechanism is needed so that it can contribute to the achievement of the NDC target.
“Currently there are several financing options for activities related to blue carbon apart from the APBN. That’s good, because relying on the APBN alone will not be enough to achieve the NDC target,” said Sri Yani.
In the future, Sri Yanti continued, Indonesia wants to integrate the framework that will be prepared and ensure financing for the sustainability of this Blue Carbon development. Moreover, we have numerous blue carbon potential as a potential source of good capital.
“Therefore, we need to also hear the experiences of other countries that have implemented and succeeded in developing their Blue Carbon,” explained Sri Yanti. Deputy Country Director Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) for Indonesia, Sophia Chappellet, who was one of the speakers said that AFD supports the Indonesian government’s efforts in managing blue carbon ecosystems, one of which is through integrating blue carbon ecosystems into Indonesia’s biodiversity and climate policies.