This year’s first IEF grant will be awarded in support of iSea’s Reposidonia Project in which, having already been supported to map the regions’ posidonia meadows and ascertain their ‘almost pristine’ quality, they will now analyse the sea grass in order to quantify their Blue Carbon potential.
No other study like this has taken place before in the Ionian Sea and it is critical in an era of addressing climate change and meeting COP 26 decarbonising targets because:
- Posidonia Meadows, frequently referred to as ‘The Lungs of The Meditteranean’, are a valuable Carbon Sink – storing CO2 that would otherwise remain in the atmosphere and fuel global warming;
- Coastal wetlands store carbon at a rate that is up to ten times greater than mature tropical forests;
- Quantifiable Blue Carbon Data from this area will serve as a milestone to facilitate conservation advocation and management actions as well as setting a roadmap for all posidonia meadows across the Ionian Sea;
- Quantifying the blue carbon capture potential of these meadows will facilitate conservation policies that can also be used in the carbon credits financing system;
- The significant and growing number of coastal blue carbon projects that are currently being implemented by various countries and organizations around the world is strong evidence of the capacity of blue carbon to motivate conservation.
The main aims of the project are:
- To estimate the blue carbon potential of Posidonia oceanica meadows in Erimitis, NE Corfu;
- To inform government bodies of the blue carbon potential and opportunities for carbon finance as a profitable incentive to designate the region as a conservation area;
- To promote a positive change in institutional policy, practice or law.
If Greece is to show its credentials as actively tackling climate change then it needs to get engaged with quantifying its blue carbon sinks, and to formalise the marine conservation policies required to protect these vital global assets. The Ionian Islands look to be leading the way and we are thrilled to be supporting iSea on this critical journey.