UN Climate Change Conference

7 – 18 November, Marrakesh
15 November 2016 | 16:10- 17:30 | Indonesian Pavilion

Indonesian Blue Carbon Dialogue

The Indonesian archipelago, part of what is known as the ‘Maritime Continent’, encompasses a complex system of islands, narrow peninsulas and complicated coastal geometries. Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 islands, with more than 95,000 km of coastline supporting biologically diverse marine and aquatic ecosystems. More than half of Indonesia’s population of 250 million lives in coastal zones.
Climate change poses significant and well-documented threats to ocean and coastal ecosystems. Warming of sea surface temperatures causes extensive coral bleaching, and sea-level rise could mean a loss of homes and livelihoods for an estimated 42 million in coastal communities by 2050. Both near-shore and off-shore aquaculture and fisheries will be hard-hit as coastal ecosystems become increasingly vulnerable to climate-driven disasters.
Yet Indonesia is blessed with 2.9 million hectares of mangroves and 0.3 million hectares of seagrass, making it the world’s richest country in coastal blue carbon. With a total storage of 3.14 billion tons of carbon in mangroves (Murdiyarso et al. 2015) and 0.39 billion tons in seagrass (Alongi et al. 2015), Indonesia’s coastal blue carbon holds great potential for climate change mitigation.
These important carbon reservoirs are now under tremendous pressure from unsustainable economic development. Indonesia’s remaining coastal blue carbon needs to be protected, and degraded areas must be restored. But what incentives are there to undertake such a massive task? Could there be a financial instrument to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by coastal degradation, and to enhance the resilience of coastal ecosystems and coastal community?


CIFOR, Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries


Daniel Murdiyarso