Addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation in tropical wetland ecosystems of Indonesia

Addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation in tropical wetland ecosystems of Indonesia

The importance of coastal mangroves in climate change mitigation and adaptation in Indonesia

Tropical wetland ecosystems, especially peatlands and mangroves, are important in global carbon cycling. This brief notes that Indonesia has more tropical wetlands than any other country on Earth and that coastal mangroves are important for both mitigation and adaptation. It examines ramifications for Indonesia’s wetlands and calls for ecosystem-based or watershed-wide approaches for communities to manage wetlands.

The brief highlights the following key messages:

  • standardised methods and protocols are needed for effective monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions from land use and land cover change in tropical wetlands
  • low-lying coastal ecological zones are already affected by rising sea levels and other marine-related climate change effects and yet mangroves are key to both climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • conservation and reducing degradation to tropical wetlands are sound mitigation approaches and important adaptation strategies
  • watershed-wide approaches provide the best lens through which communities can assess and manage changing climate conditions.
The brief makes the following recommendations:
  • the understated roles of tropical wetlands in the existing IPCC Guidelines require the growing body of science to improve the IPCC recommendations relating to tropical freshwater and coastal wetlands
  • carbon-rich tropical wetland ecosystems including mangroves and peatlands should be considered high priorities in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies globally and Indonesia has much to offer to the global climate agenda and REDD+ mechanisms
  • transdisciplinary studies are needed to build a strong science-based approach that serves Indonesia’s needs for protecting its unique wetland ecosystems and local and international scientists working on wetlands issues can collaborate to address key policy issues surrounding tropical wetlands, climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • partnerships are forming amongst Indonesian and international scientists to quantify carbon stocks, sequestration and emissions
  • it is important to have a well coordinated research agenda that is highly relevant to the policy community and decision makers to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies that are scientifically sound, economically viable and socially acceptable
  • the scientific community should work closely to conduct relevant studies, optimise resources and avoid duplication in order to cover the vast landscapes and several issues in Indonesia which remain understudied
  • communication and collaboration among agencies through regular meetings that facilitate the exchange of knowledge and assist in advancing the scientific wealth of Indonesia should be promoted to minimise unnecessary overlaps.
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