An Australian blue carbon method to estimate climate change mitigation benefits of coastal wetland restoration

Catherine E. Lovelock, Maria F. Adame, Jennifer Bradley, Sabine Dittmann, Valerie Hagger, Sharyn M. Hickey, Lindsay B. Hutley, Alice Jones, Jeffrey J. Kelleway, Paul S. Lavery, Peter I. Macreadie, Damien T. Maher, Soraya McGinley, Alice McGlashan, Sarah Perry, Luke Mosley, Kerrylee Rogers, James Z. Sippo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Restoration of coastal wetlands has the potential to deliver both climate change mitigation, called blue carbon, and adaptation benefits to coastal communities, as well as supporting biodiversity and providing additional ecosystem services. Valuing carbon sequestration may incentivize restoration projects; however, it requires development of rigorous methods for quantifying blue carbon sequestered during coastal wetland restoration. We describe the development of a blue carbon accounting model (BlueCAM) used within the Tidal Restoration of Blue Carbon Ecosystems Methodology Determination 2022 of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), which is Australia's voluntary carbon market scheme. The new BlueCAM uses Australian data to estimate abatement from carbon and greenhouse gas sources and sinks arising from coastal wetland restoration (via tidal restoration) and aligns with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories. BlueCAM includes carbon sequestered in soils and biomass and avoided emissions from alternative land uses. A conservative modeled approach was used to provide estimates of abatement (as opposed to on-ground measurements); and in doing so, this will reduce the costs associated with monitoring and verification for ERF projects and may increase participation in blue carbon projects by Australian landholders. BlueCAM encompasses multiple climate regions and plant communities and therefore may be useful to others outside Australia seeking to value blue carbon benefits from coastal wetland restoration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13739
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalRestoration Ecology
Volume31
Issue number7
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Clean Energy Regulator. The authors thank the Australian National Greenhouse Gas Inventory team, Dr W. Glamore and Dr J. Bell‐James for their contributions. The authors acknowledge and thank all stakeholders who contributed to the method development. This work was supported by award FL200100133 from the Australian Research Council. M.F.A. is supported by an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship, Queensland Government. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. Open access publishing facilitated by The University of Queensland, as part of the Wiley ‐ The University of Queensland agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Clean Energy Regulator. The authors thank the Australian National Greenhouse Gas Inventory team, Dr W. Glamore and Dr J. Bell-James for their contributions. The authors acknowledge and thank all stakeholders who contributed to the method development. This work was supported by award FL200100133 from the Australian Research Council. M.F.A. is supported by an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship, Queensland Government. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. Open access publishing facilitated by The University of Queensland, as part of the Wiley - The University of Queensland agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Restoration Ecology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Ecological Restoration.

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