BHP announced today that a new $3.3 million research program by BHP and CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, will seek to measure and quantify the net emissions reduction potential of Australia’s mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes. (Photo quoted from BHP’s website)


The program will also quantify the value of other benefits these ecosystems provide for coastal protection, fisheries and biodiversity.


Mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes, also known as ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems, lock up carbon at faster rates than most land ecosystems.


CSIRO research scientist and project co-leader Dr Andy Steven said the conservation and restoration of blue carbon ecosystems could deliver substantial emissions reductions, while also delivering other important benefits to the environment and local communities.


The 30-month project will take advantage of existing knowledge on how much carbon is stored in these ecosystems and the rates at which it is sequestered, as well as satellite-based earth observation technology and computer modelling to estimate net emissions reduction potential.


The project will build on Australia’s world-leading blue carbon science, bringing together researchers from CSIRO and Australian universities to apply their combined expertise in two related streams at a national scale.


The first stream will estimate the carbon abatement potential of blue carbon methods that could be implemented through Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund. The second stream will develop science to underpin ways of quantifying the additional benefits that accrue to fisheries, biodiversity and coastal risk reduction.


CSIRO research scientist Dr Mat Vanderklift said these additional benefits were becoming increasingly important to help the world tackle the climate and biodiversity crises — which are the focus of major intergovernmental meetings in 2021.


This is one of many projects that CSIRO is conducting with industry to develop solutions that address the climate challenge.


The project, which has co-investment from CSIRO, will make its information and tools publicly available to investors, project developers and communities.


Jiro Arihara

Global Commodity Watcher