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December 21, 2020

Plan to assess value of carbons stored in oceans, mangroves developed

Islamabad

December 21, 2020

Islamabad : Special assistant to the prime minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam has said a detailed plan has been developed to assess the economic value of millions of tons of carbons stored in ocean waters and mangroves in the country.

He told reporters here on Sunday that after elaborate discussions; the Pakistan Blue Carbon and Eco-system Assessment Strategy had been agreed upon between the World Bank and climate change ministry to jointly conduct a three-month study on Pakistan's ocean waters for assessment of carbons sequestered by the country's ocean waters and mangrove forests.

“The study would not only help identify the scale of Pakistan's ocean waters’ carbon storage potential but also help weigh up the amount of carbons storage capacity of the Country’s entire ocean eco-system as well as the carbons stored so far in the ocean waters and coastal mangroves forests,” he said.

Malik Amin said the country's ocean waters had stored carbons into them so far of which economic value was estimated at billions of dollars.

Recalling Pakistan's win in a case regarding sea bead territory, he said the country's seabed territory expanded by around 50,000 square kilometres in the year 2015 after a UN body accepted Islamabad’s claim for extension of sea limits.

“On 19 March 2015, the United Nations’ Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) had completed its review and accepted Pakistan’s claim for extension of its continental shelf limits, thereby extending Pakistan’s sea limits from 200 nautical miles to 350 nautical miles,” he said.

The PM aide said following the acceptance of the claim, Pakistan’s offshore territory of 240,000sqkm expanded by another 50,000sqkm allowing the country to benefit from the natural resources contained in it.

He, however, said with the blue carbon eco-system and carbon storage assessment strategy prepared for implementation soon will help capitalize the carbon storage potential of the increased ocean belt as well as the country's mangrove cover, which wouldn't be applied at an industrial scale.

Malik Amin said the blue economy was an emerging popular concept, which encompassed protecting the oceans and sustainable use of natural resources including water for sustainable growth and development.