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WWF and the Blue Carbon Research Centre launch partnership to safeguard coastal ecosystems

WWF and the Blue Carbon Research Centre (BCRC), based at the University of St Andrews, are thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership aimed at expanding expertise and capacity in blue carbon science. 

The partnership, with the United Nations Ocean Decade Programme for Blue Carbon (GO-BC), will work with countries and regions where vital blue carbon ecosystems – including mangroves, seagrasses, and saltmarshes – are at risk, helping to scale action that will combat climate change and its impacts.  

Coastal ecosystems have a significant role to play in fighting and adapting to climate change, yet projects to harness their potential have remained limited in scale and fragmented in their development. 

Acknowledging the benefits that blue carbon ecosystems offer to coastal communities and national economies, their preservation is not just a choice but an investment in sustaining our coasts for people and nature.   

This partnership, supported by Pacific Life Re, will organise capacity building events that effectively translate leading blue carbon science into practical tools and methodologies. 

Professor William Austin, lead of the Global Ocean Decade Programme for Blue Carbon (GO-BC) Programme, said:  

“We are delighted to be partnering with WWF to support capacity-building initiatives through our UN Ocean Decade programme.  

“We are mobilizing the global science community through GO-BC and it is critically important that we support effective conservation and restoration efforts with the best possible evidence. We will work with WWF and our partners to effect meaningful and lasting change which will benefit communities around the world.” 

Tom Brook, blue carbon specialist at WWF-UK, said:  

“By combining our strengths and resources, WWF and BCRC can make significant strides towards conserving our coastal ecosystems and combating climate change. This partnership represents a commitment to invest in blue carbon science, build knowledge and capacity, and empower communities to safeguard these crucial ecosystems, all of which are crucial in driving responsible finance for blue carbon ecosystems1. 

“In bringing together research, non-governmental organisations, and industry, we can bridge the fragmented landscape of blue carbon ecosystems, ensuring that action is underpinned by robust science and research to drive positive outcomes for climate, nature and people.” 

Dave Howell, chief executive at Pacific Life Re, said:  

“We’re very proud to be sponsoring this project which will have such a positive impact on our coastal ecosystems. 

“Protecting our oceans is one of the key priorities for the Pacific Life Foundation and it’s exciting to be part of such an important scheme.” 

WWF and BCRC, in collaboration with leading international researchers from the GO-BC programme, governments, private industry, non-governmental organisations, and coastal communities, will continue to address scientific data gaps needed to inform policy decisions and drive innovative solutions that safeguard these invaluable ecosystems for generations to come. 

For more information contact:  

Steven Brown, Media Manager   

T: +44 (0)7875168585 | E: stbrown@wwf.org.uk   

Out of hours media contact:    

T: +44 (0) 7500 577620| press@wwf.org.uk    

References 

  1. Tom Brook, Mark Lutes, Louise Heaps, Simon Walmsley, Mauro Randone, Pauli Merriman. 2023. Responsible Finance for Blue Carbon Ecosystems.  WWF International, Gland, Switzerland.  

About GO-BC: 

GO-BC is a UNESCO endorsed programme which co-ordinates global blue carbon research on behalf of the United Nations Ocean Decade and supports the UN vision for “the science we need for the ocean we want”. GO-BC is co-ordinated with support from five founding partners (the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the Blue Carbon Initiative, and the Scottish and UK Governments. GO-BC is led by Professor William Austin at the Blue Carbon Research Centre at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK. 

Find out more about GO-BC at go-bc.co.uk/ and the UN Ocean Decade at oceandecade.org/ 

About WWF:    

WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is the global environmental charity, active in nearly 100 countries, and we’re bringing our world back to life. With nature in freefall, we’re urgently tackling the underlying causes that are driving the decline – especially the food system and climate change. We’re finding solutions so future generations have a world with thriving habitats and wildlife.   

WWF. Bringing our world back to life.   

Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk   

About Pacific Life Re: 

Pacific Life Re is a global reinsurance company providing protection and savings and retirement products. Our client base stretches across the world from the UK and Europe to North America, Asia and Australia. Our parent company, Pacific Life, is a mutual with a 155-year heritage and together with Pacific Life Foundation has made philanthropic investments totalling more than $150 million to non-profits over the past three decades. 

Pacific Life Re is supporting coordination of WWF’s Blue Forest Programme, which advocates for and pilots restoration, conservation, and sustainable management approaches for blue carbon ecosystems globally.  

Find out more at Communities | Pacific Life 

Original article link: https://www.wwf.org.uk/press-release/partnership-safeguard-coastal-ecosystems

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