27 September 2022

T20 Policy Brief: Governing Blue Carbon, Coastal And Marine Ecosystems For Climate Change Mitigation

The coast needs a blue carbon ecosystem (BCE) as a buffer for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. However, there are several threats and challenges to implementing BCE on Indonesian coasts.

The blue carbon ecosystem (BCE) has great potential as a carbon store that supports climate change mitigation efforts. For example extreme weather, storm surge, erosion and flooding.

BCE includes mangrove forests and seagrass beds which are widely distributed in the coastal areas of Indonesia, a country where two-thirds of its area is water.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) stated that Indonesia contributed 17 percent of the world’s BCE. The ecosystem is a “critical natural capital”, or natural capital that is crucial in efforts to control climate change as well as support the livelihoods of coastal communities.

Meanwhile, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono explained that BCE management includes 2 of 5 blue economy policies. Each is an expansion of marine protected areas by 30 percent in 2045 and sustainable management of coastal areas and small islands.

“The expansion of the conservation area to 30 percent will encourage seagrass and mangrove ecosystems to potentially absorb around 188 million tonnes of CO2eq,” said Trenggono. CO2eq or carbon dioxide emission equivalent is a unit of measurement for emissions from various sources of greenhouse gases.

To achieve this uptake, there is still a lot of homework to be completed in Indonesia’s blue carbon ecosystem area.

Blue Carbon Ideas in the G20

Every United States (US) dollar invested in mangrove conservation and restoration generates US$3. This amount, according to research by Manaswita Konar and Helen Ding from the World Resources Institute (WRI), comes from the ecological, economic and social benefits of the area.

At the same time, the functioning of marine and coastal ecosystems is consistently under threat. This fact drives the urgency of effective protection through strengthening legal and policy frameworks.

All G20 member countries have significant marine and coastal ecosystems. Overall, 5 of the 19 G20 countries account for 49 percent of the total global mangrove forests.

Holding the G20 presidency in 2022, the Indonesian government through the Think20 (T20) network of thinkers—which is often also called the idea bank for the G20—invites other countries to restore BCE without giving up social-economic benefits for society.

Discussing in task force 3 T20 “Governing Climate Targets, Energy Transition and Environmental Protection”, the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI) represented by Chief Executive Officer of IOJI, Mas Achmad Santosa, Director of IOJI, Grace Binowo, Karenina Lasrindy and Harish Makarim.

Find the completed T20 report here.


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