Dr Nathalie Hilmi participated in a conference entitled OCEANVISIONS2021 SUMMIT “Towards a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions”. The Summit was held virtually on the campus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, on May 18-21, 2021. The summit is linked and co-organized with satellite virtual campuses in Hobart, Australia, Cape Town, South Africa, Mindelo, Cabo Verde, and Kiel, Germany. The Ocean Visions 2021 Summit May 18-21, 2021 “Towards a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions” brought together a multi-sector community of researchers, innovators, decision-makers, funders, and more to develop roadmaps for solving great ocean challenges including ocean-based solutions to climate, equitable coastal solutions strategies for resilience and adaptation, marine circular economies, ocean & human health, and how to transform research from academia into sustainable businesses.
Her presentation S1-16 was about “The Role of Blue Carbon in Climate Change Mitigation and Carbon Conservation” in the Session 1 “Accelerating the Ocean's Power to Sequester Carbon and Reverse Climate Disruption”. The Ocean has been, and continues to be, dramatically disrupted by warming and acidification caused by decades of greenhouse gas pollution in our atmosphere. Removing this pollution, carbon dioxide removal (CDR), is becoming increasingly understood as an imperative for slowing, and later reversing, climate change. The Ocean holds enormous potential for CDR solutions at the needed global scale given their sheer size and their biological productivity. Thus, The Ocean may play an important role in helping to solve the climate crisis, instead of merely suffering its effects.
She presented a paper co-written by Nathalie Hilmi, Ralph Chami, Michael D. Sutherland, Jason M Hall-Spencer, Lara Lebleu, Maria Belen Benitez, Lisa Levin.
The abstract is: “The potential for Blue Carbon ecosystems to combat climate change and provide co-benefits was discussed in the recent and influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. The report’s Blue Carbon emphasis was on coastal wetlands, and it did not address the socio-economic considerations of using natural ocean systems to reduce the risks of climate disruption. Here, we discuss Blue Carbon resources in coastal, open-ocean and deep-sea ecosystems and highlight benefits of measures (such as restoration and creation, conservation and protection), as well as challenges such as valuation and governance of these strategies, the need for policy action for market development, and global coordination. Efforts to identify and resolve these challenges could harness the potential for these natural ocean systems to store carbon. Conserving, protecting, and restoring Blue Carbon ecosystems should become an integral part of mitigation and carbon stock conservation plans at the local, national and global levels.”