United Nations
Oceanic Blue Carbon
by Blue Climate Solutions, a project of The Ocean Foundation, USA (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
Through this Oceanic Blue Carbon Voluntary Commitment we:

HIGHLIGHT the oceans critical importance to the global carbon cycle and subsequently to climate change. Ocean ecosystems represent the largest active carbon sink on Earth;

RECOGNIZE that certain coastal and ocean ecosystems can play an important role in absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. These ecosystems include mangrove and kelp forests, seagrass meadows, and saltwater marshlands. In the open ocean, marine vertebrates, such as whales, sharks and finfish, may also contribute to the oceans carbon function;

DRAW ATTENTION TO the 28 countries that have included coastal ecosystems in climate change mitigation strategies in their Nationally Determined Contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the 36 countries that endorsed the Resolution on Cetaceans and Ecosystem Services at the 2016 meeting of the International Whaling Commission, which recognizes that whale conservation may benefit the ocean and help fight climate change.

EXPRESS CONCERN over the continued human impacts on marine life and habitats that lead to degradation of ocean ecosystem health. Reduced ocean ecosystem health has the potential to reduce ocean carbon function and exacerbate global climate change. The carbon impacts of ocean ecosystem degradation have not been included in climate projections;

COMMIT to advance the following by 2020:
- Raise awareness and improve international recognition of the value of the conservation of marine ecosystems and ocean life in addressing the global climate challenge.
- Ask policy makers to include the carbon functions of coastal and oceanic marine ecosystems in strategies for conservation and climate change mitigation.
- Support cross-disciplinary research to improve understanding and quantification of the role of marine ecosystems and ocean life in the global carbon cycle, including the removal of carbon from the atmosphere and storage in the oceans.

For full partner list and affiliations please see: http://bluecsolutions.org/oceanic-blue-carbon-voluntary-commitment/
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
  • Other (please specify): Ecosystem-based mitigation
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Other (please specify): Recognition and consideration of oceanic blue carbon in policy and management
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Recognition and consideration of oceanic blue carbon in marine protected area designation
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
International recognition of the value of the conservation of marine ecosystems and marine life in addressing the global climate challenge.
The carbon functions of coastal and oceanic marine ecosystems included in strategies for conservation and climate change mitigation.
Improved scientific understanding and quantification of the contribution of marine ecosystems and ocean life to the carbon cycle, including the removal of carbon from the atmosphere and storage in the oceans.
Other, please specify
Commitment to achieve the deliverables.
Basic information
Time-frame: 06/2017 - 12/2020
United Nations entity: UN-Environment,-through-the-Global-Environment-Facility-Blue-Forests-Project; Non-governmental organizations (48): Animal-Welfare-Institute, Australian-Marine-Conservation Society, Blue-Climate-Solutions, Blue-Mind-Life, Blue-Ocean-Institute, Center-for-Cetacean-Research-and-Conservation, Centro-de-Conservacion-Cetacea-(CCC), Cet-Law-Inc., CONSERVACIN-DE-MAMFEROS-MARINOS-DE-MXICO-(COMARINO), EarthEcho-International, Earth2Ocean-Inc., Friends-of-the-Mariana-Trench-Marine-National-Monument-(FOMTM), Fundacin-Promar, Global-Coral-Reef-Alliance, Global-Ocean-Trust, Gesellschaft-zur-Rettung-der-Delphine-e.V.-(GRD)/Society-for-Dolphin-Conservation, GRID-Arendal, High-Seas-Alliance, Instituto-de-Conservacin-de-Ballenas, International-Fund-for-Animal-Welfare-(IWAF), La-Tortuga-Viva, Living-Oceans-Society, Marine-Change, Marine-Conservation-Institute, Mission-Blue, No-Whales-in-Captivity, Ocean-Conservation-and-Research, Ocean-Conservation-Society, Ocean-First-Institute, Ocean-Revolution, Ocean-Unite, One-More-Generation, Organization-for-Research-and-Conservation-of-Aquatic-Animals-(ORCA), Project-Seahorse, Science-and-Conservation-of-Fish-Aggregations-(SCRFA), SEVENSEAS-Media, Snorkel-Bob-Foundation, Tara-Expeditions, Te-Mana-O-Te-Moana, Tethys-Research-Institute, Global-Tuna-Conservation-Project, The-Ocean-Foundation, The-Science-Exchange, Tonga-Voyaging-Society, Turtle-Island-Restoration-Network, Wild-Earth-Allies, World-Wildlife-Fund-International. Research entity: Ocean-and-Coastal-Policy-Program, Nicholas-Institute-for-Environmental-Policy-Solutions, Duke-University. Scientific community (56): Gill Ainsworth, Rohan Arthur, Robert Baldwin, Jay Barlow, Nicola Beaumont, Jessica Blythe, Gill Braulik, Elizabeth R. Brill, Villy Christensen, Vic Cockroft, Sylvia Earle, Monica Engel, Beatrice Frank, Craig Harris, Peter Harris, Nan Hauser, Xabier Irigoien, Benjamin Kahn, Kristin Kaschner, David P. Keller, Jasper Kenter, Dan Kerem, Danielle Kreb, Tomohiro Kuwae, Ronal W. Larson, Michael C. MacCracken, Anuschka Miller, Gillian Minton, Wallace J. Nichols, Bethan OLeary, Esben Molan Olsen, Heidi Pearson, Lisa Pennisi, Maria Potouroglou, Ellen Prager, Jill Richardson, Denise Risch, Callum Roberts, Alex David Rogers, Joe Roman, Carl Safina, Michael Salter, Stephen Salter, Robin R. Sears, Rachel Skubel, Walker O. Smith Jr., Richard Stafford, Robert Steneck, Rashid Sumaila, Leigh Torres, Clive Trueman, Grigory Tsidulko, John Virdin, Christian Vivian, Asha de Vos, Robin Warner.
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Blue Forests Project, Communications Officer, gefblueforests@gmail.com,
Arendal, Norway
Other SDGs
United Nations