Scottish Blue Carbon Forum
The Scottish Blue Carbon Forum connects blue carbon experts from research institutions, non-government organisations, public bodies and the Scottish Government around a joint vision to develop a collaborative and innovative blue carbon community in Scotland. The Forum aims to enhance our understanding of how Scotland’s blue carbon resources contribute to climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience. The Forum has partnerships across the UK and internationally, which support evidence-informed decision making.
What is blue carbon?
Several definitions of blue carbon exist. The Scottish Blue Carbon Forum defines blue carbon as the carbon captured and stored in marine and coastal ecosystems that accumulates over long timescales through natural processes. In Scotland, blue carbon habitats include saltmarshes, seagrasses, kelp beds, biogenic reefs and geological sedimentary stores, such as seafloor and sea loch sediments.
Scotland has 14% of the UK’s saltmarshes, the highest abundance of seagrass habitats in the UK, and considerable sedimentary carbon stores in our sea lochs and shelf and deep sea.
Scotland’s blue carbon habitats offer marine nature-based solutions to climate change, including co-benefits for climate adaptation and biodiversity.
Blue carbon research led by the Scottish Blue Carbon Forum provides an evidence base that informs Scotland's approach to managing, protecting and restoring these important habitats.
Blue carbon habitats have a small but important role in climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience. Understanding Scotland’s blue carbon habitats can inform policy actions that will ensure their multiple benefits to nature and people are protected and enhanced.
The Forum has supported early career researchers and a range of scientific projects to grow blue carbon evidence and skills in Scotland. The outcomes of these projects have helped inform new policy actions to protect, restore and enhance blue carbon habitats, which will help deliver against Scotland’s climate and biodiversity commitments.
Further research will continue to fill blue carbon knowledge gaps in Scotland and internationally, including improving our understanding of ecosystem function and how impacts from humans and climate change affect blue carbon ecosystems. The Forum aims to answer policy-focused questions to help drive action at pace.