Australia committed $ 100 million to ocean conservation last week in an effort to protect ‘blue carbon’ environments and reduce emissions.
Specially adapted to care for marine life, as the world’s only island continent, the investment package will also support Australian marine parks, expand indigenous protected areas at sea and protect marine species.
Much of the funding will go to ecosystems including seagrasses and mangroves, which play a key role in removing carbon from the atmosphere.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s oceans would be key to the country’s role in reducing emissions.
“The climate and the oceans of the planet are inextricably linked. This investment is an important contribution to national and international efforts to build healthier oceans and combat climate change, ”said Morrison.
“This investment will boost seagrasses and mangroves that will help reduce emissions and translate into cleaner beaches, lower bycatch in fisheries, more fish populations, better protection for turtles and seabirds, and help communities. coastal and indigenous people who depend on the ocean for their livelihoods. “
About 85 percent of the Australian population lives 50 kilometers from the coast.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley said $ 39.9 million will go towards strengthening Australia’s position as a world leader in marine park management, including:
- $ 19.4 million to be awarded through two additional rounds of the successful Our Marine Parks Grants program, which will create opportunities for industry, community organizations and indigenous communities to further engage and connect with park management Australian seafarers.
- $ 15 million for ocean discovery and restoration projects to help us understand more about our marine parks.
- $ 5.4 million for measures to support the health and sustainability of the crystal clear waters around the Indian Ocean Territories of Australia. $ 11.6 million will be awarded over two years to incorporate Sea Country into Indigenous Protected Areas in nine locations, to provide Indigenous communities with economic and employment opportunities.
$ 30.6 million will be invested in practical actions to restore and account for blue carbon ecosystems. This will improve the health of coastal environments in Australia and throughout the region and export Australia’s internationally recognized expertise in ocean accounting, while also boosting regional employment and enabling us to realize the value of these habitats as blue carbon pools:
- Nearly $ 19 million will go toward four major onshore projects that will restore coastal ecosystems across the country, including swamps, mangroves and seagrasses.
- $ 10 million will provide four major field projects to help developing countries in the region restore and protect their blue carbon ecosystems.
- More than $ 1 million will help establish Australia as a leader in ocean and natural capital accounting assistance; This enables us to understand and account for the environmental and economic benefits of protecting these critical ecosystems.
$ 18 million will go to practical actions to protect iconic marine species, improve the sustainability of our fisheries by reducing bycatch, and spur investment in our oceans:
- $ 10 million will contribute to the health of the oceans through at least 25 specific projects to restore and protect threatened marine species, eradicate invasive species from our islands, and restore coastal habitats.
- $ 5 million will fund new and innovative measures to support the marine environment and sustainable fisheries through practical measures to avoid bycatch of threatened species.
- $ 3 million will support the deployment of ocean accounting nationwide
The package will create regional jobs, engage coastal and indigenous communities and the private sector, offer actions to improve environmental outcomes for species and ecosystems, and provide a clear path to work with all sectors to harness Australia’s ocean potential. .
The Government has also recently pledged $ 59.9 million to develop a high-integrity carbon offset scheme in its Indo-Pacific region to stimulate investment in high-quality projects that offer carbon offsets that meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement.
“The Emission Reduction Fund is one of the largest and strongest compensation schemes in the world. We see an opportunity to work with our Indo-Pacific partners and pass on the knowledge and success of that program to reduce emissions and create jobs, ”said Angus Taylor.
The investments add to the more than $ 1.1 billion that the Morrison government announced this week that it will invest in low-emission energy technologies, such as hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, and add to the $ 18 billion investment that the government is doing together with the Technology Investment Roadmap over the next 10 years to drive at least $ 70 billion of total new investments in low-emission technologies in Australia by 2030.
(Source: Australia.gov.au / Photo licensed by SWNS)
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