The Philippines as a recognized party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) assents to the Paris Agreement; thus, the country adopts measures that will stabilize greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere and commits to undertake mitigation actions towards the transformation to an inclusive and sustainable climate smart economy.
The Philippines intends to harness the adaptation and mitigation potential of Blue Carbon and include these potentials in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
Coastal and marine ecosystems namely, mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal marshes sequester carbon from the atmosphere and lock it as biomass for a long period. This sequestered and stored carbon is called Blue Carbon. Their sequestration potential exceeds that of the terrestrial forests up to 100 times faster when in healthy condition (UNEP-IUCN, 2009). These ecosystems answer the threat to food security and biodiversity through the provision of habitat to commercially and ecologically important species of flora and fauna. Furthermore, they also cater to human security by giving protection from storms and sea level rise since seagrasses and mangroves reduce wave height by 37% and 75%, respectively.
In addition, they serve as natural buffers from sand and soil loss, and silt discharge resulting to an improved water quality and integrity, and prevented shoreline erosion. Favorable water pH and temperature are also maintained because of the additional oxygen released in the seawater. With consideration to the rapidly and extremely changing environment and weather, these benefits manifest the coastal and marine ecosystems’ contribution to the well-being of the environment and the biotic living within it; thus, considered as an effective Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation strategy. The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 is geared towards environment-friendly technologies and practices that contribute to the development of blue economy and strengthened implementation of law and management of coastal and marine ecosystems.
The Philippines, as member of the CTI-CFF, committed to implement the Regional Action Plan (RPOA) which identifies blue carbon as part of the Goal 4: Strengthening climate change adaptation and resilience.
The Philippines, as member of the International Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group, has a function for research on coastal conservation, management, and assessment of blue carbon ecosystems.