Perspective: increasing blue carbon around Antarctica is an ecosystem service of considerable societal and economic value worth protecting
The Antarctic seafloor is biophysically unique and the site of carbon sequestration, the benthos, faces less anthropogenic disturbance than any other ocean continental shelf environment. This isolation imparts both vulnerability to change, and an avenue to conserve one of the world’s last biodiversity refuges. In economic terms, the value of Antarctic blue carbon is estimated at between £0.65 billion and £1.76 billion (~2.27 billion USD), for sequestered carbon in the benthos around the continental shelf. To balance biodiversity protection against society’s economic objectives, this paper builds on a proposal incentivising protection by building a ‘non‐market framework’ via the 2015 Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This could be connected and coordinated through the Antarctic Treaty System to promote and motivate member states to value Antarctic blue carbon and maintain scientific integrity and conservation for the positive societal values ingrained in the Antarctic Treaty System.
Publication titleGlobal Change Biology
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
Place of publicationUK
Rights statement© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This is the peer reviewed version of the article which has been published in final form at: