Blue Carbon co-benefit opportunities for shorebirds

Mr Tony Flaherty1

1Green Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia


Both globally and in Australia, Blue Carbon approaches into climate change adaption and policy are being developed. Blue carbon refers to the carbon stored, or sequestered, in coastal ecosystems, mangroves, seagrasses and salt marsh habitats. Australia has voluntarily elected to include blue carbon ecosystems in its national greenhouse gas accounts. However, under the national Emissions Reduction Fund, there are currently no dedicated methods to accredit blue carbon offsets. Tidal reconnection is likely to be an adopted methodology. As well as carbon sequestration, there are potentially significant environmental co-benefits, including those for shorebird conservation. In planning for, and implementing Blue Carbon projects, there are opportunities to restore, create and optimise shorebird and saltmarsh habitats. Particularly through the restoration of tidal flows.  Shorebird populations across the East-Asian Australasian flyway are in decline. Migratory shorebirds and temperate saltmarsh communities are listed under national environment legislation. Some Blue Carbon projects may potentially impact shorebirds, and project design should seek to minimise these impacts. This presentation will provide an overview of Blue Carbon co-benefit approaches and present information how Blue Carbon projects can optimise shorebird co-benefits.


Tony Flaherty, Team Leader, Coast and Seas, Green Adelaide. In his role, Tony works with a small team to undertake marine and coastal conservation works across the Adelaide region, including Blue Carbon projects. The team also facilitates community awareness, monitoring and wildlife conservation projects.