Recent studies demonstrate that carbon stocks in peatlands and mangroves of Southeast Asia are almost five times higher than carbon stocks in upland tropical and temperate forests. However, methodologies are lacking for countries to assess and communicate their greenhouse gas inventories. Even IPCC guidelines are not readily applicable to such ecosystems in the tropics, which could very well benefit from REDD+. Emissions factors associated with land use change and activity data in these ecosystems need to be revisited so that peatlands and mangroves are included in mitigation schemes.
Climate change is already affecting these wetlands and the people whose livelihoods depend on them, through rising sea levels, increasing soil salinity, changing temperature and rainfall patterns, increasing number and severity of cyclones, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events. These stressors require adaptation strategies. Bundling adaptation and mitigation strategies would enhance the benefits to communities that have relatively low capacity to adapt and yet most vulnerable to and hard hit by climate change.
This side event will present a conceptual framework, what we know to date and lessons learnt to enhance the roles of wetlands in climate change adaptation and mitigation.