logo Thinking beyond the canopy

The Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program (SWAMP) is a collaborative effort by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the USDA Forest Service (USFS) and Oregon State University with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). SWAMP evolved from a multi-stakeholder exercise called the Tropical Wetlands Initiative for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation (TWINCAM), when the group was called to respond to a variety of challenges requested by stakeholders, ranging from local to global imperatives of sustainable wetlands management.

Carbon-rich mangroves and peatlands are high priorities in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies throughout the world. Tropical wetlands provides a wide range of ecosystem services, such as supporting services (nutrient cycling, soil formation, primary production), provisioning services (food, fiber and fuel), regulating services (pollution, flood and erosion control, carbon/climate), and cultural services (education and recreational). High rates of tree and plant growth coupled with low-oxygenated, water-logged soils in mangrove forests and peatlands may offset the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) through long-term storage of carbon (C). Preliminary studies have demonstrated that carbon stocks in these ecosystems are among the highest of any forest type. However, most countries do not have sufficient information to include wetlands in their national reporting to the United Nations nor to develop plans for avoiding GHG emissions from wetland conservation.

To better understand the C-dynamics in these ecosystems, USFS and CIFOR have further developed a collaborative agenda by involving their partners. By employing robust scientific approaches and methodologies, SWAMP is expected to generate knowledge that is relevant to policymakers and practitioners regarding the sustainable management of wetlands in the face of changing global climate and livelihoods of local community.

SWAMP videos

Qatar's mangroves

Qatar's Mangroves: Why they matter for climate change

60 km from the site of the UN climate change talks in Doha, Indonesian scientist Daniel Murdiyarso and Qatar-based scientist Mohamad Khawlie explore Qatar's most important ecosystem - the mangroves - and explain their significance for climate change - both in absorbing carbon, and helping cities adapt to storms and sea level rises.

Kalimantan's mangroves

Dirty science

Indonesia's vast mangrove forests don't just protect coastlines and support ecosystems and livelihoods - they also store huge amounts of carbon dioxide, one of the gases responsible for climate change. How much carbon? Scientists from CIFOR and FORDA are battling mud, tides and insects trying to find out.

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