Blue Carbon initiative
‘Blue Carbon’ refers to the functional attributes of coastal and marine ecosystems to sequester and store carbon. Blue Carbon ecosystems of the UAE include mangrove forests, salt marshes and seagrass beds. Another potential Blue Carbon ecosystem identified as a result of this project is cyanobacterial “bluegreen algal” mats (hereafter referred to as algal flats). When these ecosystems are destroyed, buried carbon can be released into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. In addition to their climate-related benefits, Blue Carbon ecosystems provide highly valuable ‘Ecosystem Services’ to coastal communities; they protect shorelines, provide nursery grounds for fish and habitats for a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic species, and support coastal tourism. They also have significant cultural and social values.