In collaboration with UNEP, PERSGA has organized the 1st regional workshop on “Assessment and Management of blue Carbon Resources of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden” during 15-16 September 2013 at PERSGA HQ in Jeddah. Participants in the workshop included specialists from PERSGA member states, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti and Yemen, in addition to experts from PERSGA, UNEP, AGEDI (UAE) and an international consultant from Perspectives GmbH (Switzerland).
Blue carbon is the carbon dioxide sequestered and stored by coastal wetlands and vegetations, which play a role in the uptake of carbon dioxide emissions and mitigation of Climate Change. The most important blue carbon habitats include mangroves, sea-grass and coastal salt marshes. The regional workshop came as a part of regional initiative launched by PERSGA in collaboration with UNEP, and was preceded by a regional scoping study focusing on assessing the blue carbon resource potential and policy options in PERSGA region. The long term objectives include establishing database for blue carbon resources and planning for their conservation and development in the region, as well as, mainstreaming blue carbon in economic valuation of coastal ecosystems, and climate change and coastal protection policies.
In the press release, PERSGA SG emphasized that the blue carbon is an emerging topic in Climate Change global discourse, which might be considered in future IPCC and national communication reports, while IPCC is currently developing guidelines on blue carbon assessment. He indicated that the regional scoping study conducted by PERSGA is suggesting considerable blue carbon resources in the region coasts, while the Saudi Arabian coasts have relatively higher resource potential. This encouraged PERSGA to launch a demonstration project in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with PME and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining.
The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden