Recent studies show that wetlands are, quite simply, champions at carbon storage (the best of these being saltwater marshes due to higher levels of naturally-occurring sulphates); however, this also often implies that their degradation results in the release of large amounts of methane.
As such, restoration of these wetlands serves multiple purposes, including improved biodiversity conservation and ecological functioning, and enhancing the available much-needed ecosystem services and benefits, as well as the opportunity for the management of these systems to be self-financing through the sale of carbon credits, thereby ensuring long-term sustainability.
CarboWet is a foundation registered in The Netherlands. The foundation aims to develop a methodology for the certification of greenhouse gas storage in wetlands. The main objective is to try to determine a value for the sequestration, so that we can trade the credits to obtain continued funding for conservation and rehabilitation of wetlands in the Mediterranean region. This objective falls within the emerging trend of calculating ecosystem values to allow balanced socio-economic decision making on conservation and development.
Activities so far have included the completion of preliminary research in Azraq, Jordan, end of 2009, in close cooperation with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). This resulted in a thesis on carbon storage in Azraq entitled, “Wetland Carbon Trade". In close cooperation with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), Istanbul University and with the assistance of the Rubicon Foundation we have now developed concepts for the initiative that can take it forward.
The methodology that is to be developed is initially meant to be applied in the Mediterranean Basin. Nonetheless the application in similar climates and ecosystems is given. In due course modifications can be made to the methodology to allow assessments in other climatological and ecological environments such as the tropics or more tempered climates.
CarboWet has been established in close cooperation with SaafConsult B.V.