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Blue Carbon

and UNESCO Marine World Heritage

Blue carbon ecosystems include seagrass meadows, tidal marshes and mangroves. They are among the most intensive carbon sinks in the biosphere and play a central role in climate mitigation.

© Shane Gross

UNESCO Marine World Heritage
Custodians of the globe's blue carbon assets

The 50 marine sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List comprise at least 21% of the global area of blue carbon ecosystems and 15% of global blue carbon assets - carbon stores that are equivalent to about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.

Their protection plays a central role in storing carbon from the atmosphere. But degradation of these ecosystem can also release billions of tons of greenhouse gases.

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Listen to the interview with lead author Professor Carlos M. Duarte on the importance of blue carbon to mitigate climate change, meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and help finance the conservation of the world’s flagship marine protected areas for future generations.


Media information

Download press kit and access photo gallery:
Download press kit Photo gallery

Read the press release:
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Social media

Want to smurf more about blue carbon? Watch the short videos which are available on the UNESCO social media channels:
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General information

Launched in 2005, the mission of the World Heritage Marine Programme is to ensure effective conservation of existing and potential marine areas of Outstanding Universal Value so they will thrive for generations to come.

The assessment received the financial support
of the French Biodiversity Agency (Office français de la biodiversité) and the Government of the Principality of Monaco


Photos: © Shane Gross, © Martial Dosdane - province sud, © Stanislav Beloglazov/Shutterstock.com, © Peyo, © UNESCO