This infobrief discusses the status, opportunities and challenges of incorporating blue carbon into the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of 13 Asia-Pacific countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam). While the role of mangroves is fully recognized in all countries' climate-change and environmental policies, only three (Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines) explicitly referred to blue carbon terminology in their policies and established a national agency responsible for the development of a blue carbon strategy.
The challenges associated with incorporating and implementing blue carbon into the NDCs of these 13 countries include a lack of data and standard methodology; weak technical capacity; a lack of coordination between government agencies and sectors; overlapping mandates and inconsistent policies; the increasing degradation of coastal wetland ecosystems; as well as funding constraints for developing and implementing policies and practices in programs focusing on the conservation of blue carbon ecosystems.
Nevertheless, opportunities exist as stakeholders increase their understanding and awareness of blue carbon's role and importance at an international, national and sub-national level.
The factors that can help stakeholders to seize these opportunities and contribute to the restoration of blue ecosystems include more policy and technical guidance for blue carbon management and reporting; further capacity enhancement; and improved coordination and information sharing among the relevant actors.