7 Interesting travel facts, linked to the environment 

Plane ascending into the sky. Ocean Generation is sharing 7 interesting travel facts linked to the environment in this article.

How much do we need to reduce travel emissions to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement?”

Good question! Perhaps you’ve also wondered how much worse the private jets celebs catch are, compared to commercial planes, or how much more we drive than walk?

Here are 7 interesting travel facts linked to the environmental:

Teal travel van parked against the backdrop of a coastal road. There's a blue sky, a stretch of Ocean, and lush wild grass with a few flowers. Shared by Ocean Generation in an article about interesting travel facts with an environmental lens.

1. Transport-related CO2 emissions would need to be curbed to 2Gt or 3Gt by 2050, or 70-80% lower than 2015 levels to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C limit.  

2. More passengers per vehicle = lower individual emissions.  

The transport sector causes substantial negative impacts on the environment and human health. Image of a close up of a car exhaust with CO2 being released.

3. A double decker bus, a clever form of public transport, can replace up to 50 other motorised vehicles.

4. Making cities walkable, i.e., making it easy to travel around a neighbourhood on your own two feet, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 4 tonnes a year when compared to automobile-dependent areas.

The avoided emissions are equivalent to 2-person round trip flying economy between Paris and New York.  

5. We now drive seven times as much as we walk.  

6. In 2016 most passengers in the UK (72%) were flying for leisure.  

7. Private jets are 5-14 times more polluting than commercial planes (per passenger) and about 50 times more polluting than trains.

The amount of space taken up on a road by 50 pedestrians vs. 50 cyclists vs. 50 people on a bus vs. 50 people in 33 cars. This image is shared by ocean Generation in their article about interesting travel facts through an environmental lens.
The amount of space taken up on a road by 50 pedestrians vs. 50 cyclists vs. 50 people on a bus vs. 50 people in 33 cars. Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Our planet doesn’t need a handful of perfect environmentalists. It needs millions of imperfect people doing what they can to make a difference, and always trying to do better.  

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What’s the environmental impact of travel?  

Image split in half horizontally. In the top image an aeroplane, headed towards the camera, is visible. In the lower image are wooden benches at a train or underground station. This article shares the environmental impact of the ways we travel.

Despite our increasingly sedentary and digitally bound lifestyles, we still need to travel from one place to another – for our basic needs, work, school, or leisure – and it all has an environmental impact.

Imagine your typical week, what kinds of transport do you use? Do you rely on your local bus to get to school? Or perhaps a tram or metro to commute to work? Do you drive or take a taxi to visit your friends and family on the weekend? 

Globally, over half of the world’s population live in urbanised areas and we primarily use motorised modes of transport. This makes the sector heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

The transport sector is heavily reliant on fossil fuels, with oil as the dominant fuel source. Ocean Generation shares what the environmental impact of our travel is in this article.

Even with increased electrification of road vehicles and innovative fuel sources, decarbonising this sector has remained challenging.  

Environmental impact of the transport sector (in numbers): 

The environmental impact of the transport sector: in numbers. 25% of energy is consumed globally by the transport sector. 40% of transport emissions come from end-use sectors  

We’re covering 3 areas of interest when it comes to the environmental impacts of travel:

  • Air Travel 
  • Active Travel (walking and cycling) 
  • Public Transportation  

To fly or not to fly? 

The short answer is no, where possible.  

Air travel, both domestic and international, is higher emitting than is indicated by CO2 emission figures alone.  

This is because there are non-CO2 pollutants like nitrous oxides, sulphates, soot particles, etc that are directly released into the upper atmosphere.  

Localised effects of these pollutants can be more damaging than the effects of CO2 alone. In fact, one study found that non-CO2 emissions are three times more polluting than just CO2 alone. 

Why is flying at night worse for the environment? 

Condensation trails, AKA contrails, are line-shaped clouds that form from the water vapour released when burning fuel. These clouds can have both a cooling and warming effect on our planet.  

They can cool the Earth’s surface by reflecting sunlight but are disproportionately capable of trapping heat. This means that night flights are more polluting since there is no sunlight to be reflected.  

Plane flying through a navy blue sky. Behind the plane are condensation trails, also known as contrails. Ocean Generation is sharing why flying at night is worse for the environment than catching a flight during the day.

Only a small proportion of the world’s population engage in air travel, but those of us who do can point to it being the largest slice of our personal carbon footprints.  

This is especially true for those who fly on private jets. Private jets are 5-14 times more polluting than commercial planes (per passenger) and about 50 times more polluting than trains.  

Many uncertainties remain with our understanding of the full impact of contrails and decarbonising air travel has proved to be difficult despite recent innovative advancements.  

  

Active travel is making a comeback

One of the best and most accessible ways of reducing our transport carbon footprint is by walking and cycling.

These two methods of transportation have low lifecycle CO2 emissions and are environmentally friendly alternatives to using a car or public transport. Electric bikes are also on the rise and can aid slightly longer distances.  

Image split in half horizontally. On the top half of the image is a close up of a bicycle wheel. On the bottom half, a pair of green sneakers on some lush grass. Image shared by Ocean Generation in an article discussing how the ways we travel impacts our planet's health.

Another benefit of walking and cycling is its positive impact on our health; it has been found to improve our physical health and reduce the risk of various diseases.

This could improve our mental health since it promotes social interactions and helps people feel more connected to both their communities and natural surroundings. 

But according to WHO, “More than half of all road traffic deaths and injuries involve vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and their passengers”.  

We need to work on better road infrastructure and safer areas. Active travel needs to be accessible for disadvantaged groups so they too can reap the benefits.   

We need better public transportation networks.  

An effective public transport system can have significant effects on the reduction of transport related CO2 emissions. 

Trains, buses, trams, subways/metros, and more play a vital role decreasing emissions by directly reducing the need for car ownership which in turn minimises road congestion.

Here is a graph representing the carbon footprint of multiple transport modes:

Carbon footprint of travel per kilometer in 2018 from World in Data shared by Ocean generation.
The carbon footprint of travel is measured in grams of carbon dioxide-equivalents per passenger kilometer.
This includes the impact of increased warming from aviation emissions at altitude.

Some of the takeaways from Figure 1 are: 

  • Overall, the emissions discrepancy between air travel and public transport modes is highly evident.  
  • Light rail and trams are over 4 times less emitting than taking a taxi.  
  • Trains are always a better option than flying domestically.  
  • There is great potential in low-carbon international rail journeys, like in the case of Eurostar. 
  • Economy seats are more carbon friendly than business class which could be pointed to capacity difference (fewer and bigger seats in business class) and added amenities.  
Red train coming to a stop in Japan, shared by Ocean Generation in an article that addresses the environmental impact of how we travel.

In wealthy countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Germany where a lot of investment and development of public transportation has occurred, it is well used by its locals and, as a result, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are relatively low.  

In comparison, we see the opposite in the US which has invested more in highways resulting in a drop in the use of public transit and transportation emits more greenhouse gases than any other sector of the economy.  

Ultimately, a person’s travel choices are deeply influenced by household income and transport prices. The IPCC suggests that increasing adoption of public transport modes will require making public transport more convenient, reliable, and less expensive than using a car. 

How can I become a responsible traveller?

Travelling with the environment in mind is possible:

  • Reducing the number of flights taken is always the best option.  
  • Avoid flights if alternatives exist (like rail, bus etc.).  
  • Choose direct flights where possible to maximise fuel efficiency and minimise emissions associated with take-offs. 
  • For short to medium distances, consider walking or cycling rather than individual vehicles or public transport.  
  • Trains, metros/subways, trams, and buses should be chosen over personal vehicles where possible. 
  • Voice your interest for better and/or more public transport options in your local area, if it doesn’t already exist. 
  • Write to your local authorities to invest in pedestrian footpaths, cycling lanes, and enhance road safety.  
  • Sharing is caring; carpooling is a neat way of lowering your individual carbon footprint.  

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15 Climate actions you can take to restore the Ocean’s health 

15 simple actions you can take to fight climate change and protect the Ocean, shared by Ocean Generation. Dark blue, foamy wave washing onto a beach.

What can I do about climate change?”

We’re regularly asked for practical climate actions. Thankfully, there’s a lot we can do to look after our blue planet.  

Every decision we make – from what we eat to how we move to the clothes we wear – has an environmental impact. But when faced with fear-mongering headlines and science-backed alarm bells that we’re reaching a climate tipping point, individual actions don’t feel like enough.  

Do individual climate actions actually make a difference?  

Yes. Think about it: Swapping out your plastic straw for a metal one may not feel like much, but if everyone in Europe did the same, 701 tonnes of plastic could be prevented from entering the environment every year.  

Collectively, individual actions are powerful propellers of positive change.  

The image is cut horizontally down the middle. The top image is four men and woman dressed for work in suits and coats, holding briefcases. The bottom image is of a bright yellow fish in an organge coral in the sea. Shared by Ocean Generation.

Why should the Ocean have a seat at climate conversations?  

The Ocean is a powerful climate change mitigator.

Here’s 3 ways our Ocean mitigates the impacts of climate change: 

  • The Ocean absorbs 90% of excess heat from our climate system, making it an impressive heat sink. In fact, the Ocean is the largest heat sink on Earth. 
  • 30% of human-made carbon emissions are absorbed by our Ocean.  
  • The Ocean plays a major role in climate adaption. (Said differently: the Ocean supports our planet’s adjustment to the effects of climate change, for example, through blue carbon ecosystems).  

But as much as our Ocean tackles climate change, it is also directly affected by it. (Read: Ways climate change impacts Ocean health.)

When we take climate action, we are simultaneously taking Ocean action and vice versa.  

From reducing your use of single-use plastics to addressing your carbon footprint, there are many effective ways to make a positive difference.

Here are 15 climate actions you can take to restore the Ocean’s health: 

1) Skip single-use coffee cups

Many of us start our day with a cup of coffee on the go. It’s a comforting routine that sets the tone for the rest of the day. 

If all of Europe made the switch from single-use plastic cups to eco-friendly alternatives, we’d prevent 1,500 tonnes of plastic waste a year.

Hand holding a reusable coffee cup, shared by Ocean Generation. The accompanying text says 'if all of Europe made the switch to eco-friendly cups, we'd prevent 1,500 tonnes of plastic waste a year.'

2) Understand the main 5 human-made threats the Ocean faces 

We can’t restore the health of the Ocean if we don’t understand what threatens it.

The UN released a 2,000-page document breaking down the various threats our Ocean faces. Understandably, most people don’t have the time (or desire) to read it. So, we transformed it into 5 easy-to-follow articles about Ocean threats. 

3) “What is my climate footprint?” 

Your carbon footprint is the measure of greenhouse gases produced by your daily activities.  

This includes things like driving a car, using electricity, the emissions linked to what you wear, and even eating food.  

When we understand our carbon footprint, we can shift our behaviours for the better. Here’s an online carbon footprint calculator (we can’t endorse any resource as ‘the most accurate measure of your CO2 footprint’ but this will give you a rough idea of your environmental impact).  

It’s important to remember that carbon emission world averages distort the unequal emissions in developed and developing countries. So, it’s helpful to compare your carbon footprint to your national average to assess where you stand. 

4) The food on your plate makes an environmental impact  

One third of carbon emissions comes from food production.  

What you eat tends to matter more than whether it’s produced locally or not, when it comes to decreasing your carbon footprint.  Read: Is locally sourced food better for the environment? 

General tips: Reduce your consumption of high-emission foods like meat and dairy in favour of seasonal fruits and vegetables and snacks that have negative emissions. 

5) Put your money where your heart is: Divest from fossil fuels 

Are your monetary investments benefiting the planet? Divesting from fossil fuels means taking your money out of the hands of the fossil fuel industry, which contributes significantly to carbon emissions and climate change.  

You can start by checking your bank and investment accounts and moving your money to institutions that don’t invest in fossil fuels. Even small divestments make a difference. 

Microplastics on a black background. Ocean Generation is sharing climate actions we can all take.

6) Avoid products with microbeads 

Microbeads are small plastic beads often found in beauty and personal care products. These tiny pieces of plastic easily slip down our drains, through water treatment plants and into the Ocean. 

Most of us purchase products – facial scrubs, toothpaste, nail polish, and abrasive household cleaning products – without realising they contain microbeads.  

Quick solution to the microbead problem: Check ingredient lists and front labels. Microbeads and polyethylene are often listed on packaging, making them easy to avoid. 

7) Think before you toss your clothes into the laundry 

Every time we do an average laundry load of 6kg, 700,000 fibres can be released into our waterways. Before you put something in the washing basket, consider if it can first be worn again.  

Take this a step further by investing in a bag built to capture micro-fibres and choosing sustainable clothing materials when it’s time to purchasing something.  

8) Conserve water  

Only 0.5% of water on Earth is useable and available as freshwater. So, we’re not joking when we say water is liquid gold.  

It’s a key prerequisite for human development and, already, a quarter of all cities are water stressed. Little actions add up: Cringe when you see a character in a movie running water for ages; make sure you turn your tap off while brushing your teeth; install a waster-wise shower-head; fix those leaks.  

You may feel that your climate action a drop in the Ocean – but the Ocean would be less without that drop.  

Every drop counts.

9) Understand the impact of fast fashion on the environment 

Fast fashion is responsible for 8 – 10% of global carbon emissions (which is more than all international flights and maritime shipping – combined).  

Outfit repeating, sustainable fabrics, shopping second-hand and only purchasing items you know you’ll re-wear over and over again are in fashion this season.  
Scroll: How to take the fast out of fast fashion

Car exhaust pipe with smoke coming out. Shared by Ocean Generation in a article about actions to reduce carbon emissions.

10) What’s the impact of how you travel

No one’s surprised to learn: Flying is one of the most carbon-intensive modes of transportation. But did you know that flying at night is actually worse for the planet than flying during the day? Now you do.

Walking and cycling are both climate-friendly and positively impact our health.  

Suggestions when it comes to catching flights:  

  • Where alternatives exist, don’t fly.  
  • When you need to fly, choose direct flights to maximise fuel efficiency and minimise emissions associated with take-offs.  

11) Plant a mangrove tree – with the click of a button – to take Ocean action 

Mangrove trees are incredible climate solutions.

We’ve written about their impressive carbon sequestering power extensively and have a Mangrove Mandate: A promise to plant a mangrove tree in Madagascar for every new follower on @OceanGeneration’s instagram.  

By planting a mangrove tree, you’re making a direct impact on the environment. Plant (follow).

12) Rethink your relationship with plastic 

You knew it was coming. It wouldn’t be a climate change actions list without mention of plastic.  

Plastic is everywhere – from the clothing you’re wearing to the spot you’re sitting right now and even in the food we eat. There’s no getting rid of a material designed to last forever, but reducing our consumption of single-use plastics is essential for a healthy Ocean and planet.  

Start by rethinking your relationship with plastic. Instead of leaning on recycling, start reusing, reducing, totally refusing plastic options where you can.  

Crashing Ocean wave, shared by Ocean Generation - experts in Ocean health since 2009.

13) Start saying ‘Ocean’ not oceans 

At school, we’re all taught about the Ocean having 5 regions, but our Ocean isn’t separated by borders. It’s one, connected system.  

What happens in one part of the Ocean impacts Ocean health as a whole. 

If we all understood this, we’d be more mindful of what we dump in the Ocean, what we take out of it, and how we use it daily. As you go about your life, start saying Ocean – big O, no s. Not only does it highlight the interconnectedness of the Ocean, but also how our daily actions impact it. 

14) Be a voice for our Ocean 

The Ocean is quite literally keeping us alive. It’s our planet’s life support system, but most people don’t realise that.  

By keeping yourself informed about the importance of the Ocean, the human-made threats it faces, and the various actions we can take to protect it – and then sharing that Ocean intelligence, you can propel a wave of positive change for our planet.

Sign up to our newsletter for monthly Ocean education. Submit a Wavemaker Story to let your voice for the Ocean be amplified on our channels. Share educational posts you come across. Be an Ocean advocate – not just on World Ocean Day but every day. 

15) Accept that you can’t do everything. Start where you are. 

It’s important to acknowledge that no one can do it all when it comes to tackling climate change and restoring the Ocean’s health.  

Striving to be a perfect environmentalist often leads to eco-anxiety and feelings of defeat about the amount of work to be done. The reality is: Imperfection is still helpful, and it’s a lot more inclusive than unrealistic demands for perfection. 

Our blue planet doesn’t need a handful of perfect environmentalists. Earth needs millions of imperfect people doing what they can to make a difference, and always trying to do better.  

Embrace imperfect environmentalism with us by starting where you are. Commit to one – or several – of these items right now. Collectively, we can make waves. 

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What we Eat: Is locally sourced food better for the planet? 

Is locally sourced food better for the planet? Ocean Generation weighs in. The top half of this image shows lush lettuce with water droplets and the bottom shows a sea turtle swimming in the Ocean among some seagrass.

Over 10,000 years ago, we planted our first seeds and domesticated animals – marking a major milestone for homo sapiens (humans).

Fast forward to the present and it’s easy to see that we’ve come a long way from founding agricultural practices to the complex globalised food system we’ve built today.  

Hands of a farmer picking fruit off of a plant, on a farm. Ocean Generation is sharing how what we eat impacts the health of our planet and Ocean.

Many of us are now able to purchase foods, in and out of season, throughout the year. Food systems tend to be high-yielding and complex: the low cost of the products could be argued to be offset by the hefty environmental cost.  

Is eating locally sourced food better for the planet? 

We are exploring the public discourse between local and non-local foods, through the lens of carbon emissions

But first, we need to understand the components of the food system.  

What’s the environmental cost of the food on my plate? 

The food on our plates often makes its way to us through a complex food system.  

What is a food system 

A food system refers to the entire process (aka lifecycle) of producing, processing, distributing and consuming food.

A strawberry on a fork along with the words: The food system accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. Shared by Ocean Generation.

This system accounts for a third, or 18 GTCO2eq, of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions where: 

Agricultural production (farms and animal feed) is responsible for a whopping 39% of the emissions. 

Changes in land use (deforestation and fluctuations in carbon in soil) is responsible for 32% of the emissions and, 

Other supply chain activities (like processing, transport, retail, packaging, and consumption) are responsible for 29% of the emissions.  

Aside from emissions, food systems are also accountable for high water usage and being the primary driver of biodiversity loss.

Evidently, the systems we’ve built need transformative changes that minimise this environmental toll. It also means addressing the undeniable role of the meat and dairy industry in the rise of emissions. 

From a consumer perspective, many argue that buying local produce is the best way to minimise our emissions.

Although this is a popular policy recommendation, academia suggests a slightly different picture. 

Above and below: Half of the image shows a farm with yellow wheat and the bottom half of the image shows a scene of corals and fish; life in the Ocean. A sting ray is swimming with a remora on its back and some yellow fish.

What does “locally sourced” food mean? 

There is no widely accepted definition of ‘local’ food, but it broadly revolves around minimal distances between where the food is produced and where it is consumed.  

‘Local’ food can be interpreted in a few ways:

– Within a community, city, village, or county, 
– Within a State (like in US, India), or, 
– Within a small country (like Jamaica, Estonia, Lebanon) 

In the US, according to the 2008 Farm Act, to be classified as ‘local’, foods would have to come from 400 miles or less.

If we apply this to a person shopping in Slovenia, a small European country, they could, in theory, buy produce from all their neighbouring countries and consider that as ‘local’.

So, the different interpretations to ‘local’ food allows room for varying circumstances.  

Does the type of transport used for foods matter? 

Yes! It is worth noting the emission disparities between different modes of transport.

The most GHG-efficient option for transporting food is via cargo ships. This is followed by rail, cars, vans, and trucks.

Unintuitively, storing foods locally year-round tend to be more GHG intensive than having the same products shipped from another country.   

The transport method used to carry your food from farm to fork makes a huge environmental difference.

In general, air freighted foods are the least GHG-efficient. As a consumer, it can be difficult to assess what is air-freighted and what is not.

A useful guide is to assess whether the product has a limited shelf life (for example, mangoes and berries) and if it is from a country quite far away.  

Now, let’s dive into a common question encountered in the local vs non-local food debate.  

Don’t non-locally sourced foods mean higher travel emissions? 

Not necessarily.

Here are eight foods and their supply chain emissions visualised in two ways: 

Greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain for 8 different types of food. [Credit: Our World in Data] 
Figure 1 GHG Emissions across the supply chain [Credit: Our World in Data] 
Greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain for 8 types of food. [Credit: Our World in Data] 
Figure 2 Relative GHG Emissions across the supply chain [Credit: Our World in Data] 

In figure 1, we are able to see the overall emissions of certain foods, noting that some foods have high emissions (like meat) while some have low or negative emissions (like nuts). Therefore, we can make the biggest impact by swapping out high-emission foods where possible.  

Figure 2 allows for a deeper understanding of emissions from each step of the supply chain. Although there are exceptions, travel emissions for most foods are minimal compared to the emissions associated with land use, farming, and animal feed. 

If you’d like to learn more about this in the context of other foods, click here to use the graphing tool. 

What are the best practices to adopt when sourcing foods? 

From an environmental perspective, making decisions on how to source foods can be unclear.

Some of the best practices guided by growing evidence suggests the following:  

– In terms of emissions reduction, what you eat matters more than whether it is local or not.  

– In general, buy locally grown seasonal foods like vegetables and fruits.  

– Buy local especially if you know where you’re buying from, who you’re buying from and how they grow the food. The transparency of supply chains will enable you to consider wider environmental, economic, and social impacts to make well-informed decisions. 

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Mangroves: Underrated Climate Change Heroes 

Mangrove tree growing out of water. Mangroves are climate change heroes thanks to their ability to sequester 3 - 5 times more carbon than normal forests.

Everything you need to know about mangrove trees:

Mangroves are the only forests situated at the confluence of land and sea in the world’s subtropics and tropics. They have been variously described as “coastal woodland”, “mangal”, “tidal forest” and “mangrove forest.”  

There are roughly 70 species of mangrove trees occupying a total estimated area of 147,000 km2 worldwide. This is equivalent to the size of Bangladesh! Roughly 43% of the world’s mangrove forests are situated in just four countries: Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, and Nigeria.  

These forests are home to an abundance of life, protecting people from floods whilst storing carbon at an impressive capacity. 

Mangrove trees in Indonesia. The mangroves - a coastal ecosystem - are vital climate change heroes. Here, they are near a body of water. Uniquely, mangroves can be found in coastal and fresh water environments.

Biodiversity in mangrove forests 

In the right conditions, mangroves form extensive and productive forests.

These forests support animal populations both within the forest and in offshore areas. Densities of crabs are especially likely to be highest on unvegetated mudbanks adjacent to mangroves, feeding on propagules (buds of plants). 

Juvenile shrimps are important organisms near mangroves too, and a sought-after food for many communities. These shrimps obtain carbon (food) from plankton and algae living amongst the mangroves. 

There are also a few endemic mammal species in mangroves. For example, crab-eating rats in Australia, the leaf monkey in Malaysia, and the proboscis monkey in Borneo. 

Here is a diagram further highlighting the importance of mangroves to so many species for different reasons – 

What species live in mangrove forests? Animals use mangroves as a nursery, foraging and nesting habitat. Some species like tree crabs, spotted mangrove crabs and crocodiles spend their whole lives in mangrove forests.

Figure 1 Conceptual diagram illustrating the critical habitat that mangroves provide for a variety of animals [Credit: Integration and Application Network, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science] 

Why should we care about mangrove trees? 

– Mangrove forests are widely recognised as providing a wide variety of goods and services to people, including protection from floods, provision of a variety of plant and animal products, sediment trapping, and nutrient uptake and transformation.  

– Annually, mangroves are responsible for over $60 billion in avoided losses from coastal flooding, protecting more than 15 million people.  

– An impressive diversity of plant products is harvested from mangrove trees, including tannins, honey, medicinal products, and thatch. 

Aerial image of mangrove forests.

Mangroves are a blue carbon solution  

– Mangroves have gained a lot of attention in recent years over their ability to sequester carbon, storing between 3-5 times more carbon per hectare than terrestrial forests. 

– They have carbon-rich soil that’s been built-up for over hundreds or thousands of years. 

– 87% of carbon stocks in mangroves are just within the top meter of soil. According to one report, if this were released into the atmosphere, it would be equal to 7.5 years of emissions from the EU or burning 51 billion barrels of oil. 

What are the drivers of degradation and loss of mangroves?  

Up to 60% of mangrove tree losses are due to direct or indirect human impacts. These drivers are –

– Logging (for timber, charcoal) 
– Agriculture (oil palm cultivation)
– Aquaculture (ponds for shrimp and fish farming) 
– Pollution (from oil and gas extraction, and nutrient run-off) 
– Coastal infrastructure development  
– Climate change (sea level rise, hurricanes, drought) 

Mangroves Degradation in Timor-Leste shared by Ocean Generation.

Mangrove Restoration and Conservation Efforts 

Our knowledge of mangrove area dynamics at local to global scales has increased significantly since 2000 due to advances in remote sensing and data access.

Around 42% of remaining mangroves are now located in protected areas. But protected areas may not always provide strong protection. Many mangroves fall prey to erosion and storms, naturally occurring phenomena, while some don’t stand the test of time due to ineffective management.  

The front line of mangrove protection, management and sustainable use involves people—communities, indigenous groups, traditional users, and local governments.  

The Global Mangrove Alliance, is an important and ambitious initiative, seeking to halt loss caused by direct human impact, restore at least half of recent mangrove losses, and increase protection from over 40% to 80% by 2030. 

How coastal communities have helped mangrove forests thrive 

Around the world, there are countless examples of collaborations that have helped coastal communities and mangroves to thrive together.  

For example, in Pakistan, mangroves are concentrated mainly in the north along the Arabian Sea coastline where arid climate prevails. Under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project, 43.50 million plants will be planted in one of the world’s largest endeavours to restore mangroves.  

This ambitious project will not only provide a natural barrier against erosion, climate disasters but will also restore breeding grounds for finfish and shrimps. It has the potential to improve the livelihoods of fishing and herding communities living in the many coastal villages dotting the country’s northern shores.   

A man leaning into a body of water to plant a mangrove tree. Mangrove trees are incredible trees. They act as climate change heroes because of their incredible ability to sequester carbon.

Mangrove planting has been increasingly considered a Nature-based Solution (NbS)  

This enthusiasm, seen through national policy commitments and community-led initiatives, can now be assessed against a Global Standard for NbS, a criteria set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to ensure that these projects are credible and well-designed to maximise their full potential.  

Mangroves provide many benefits and their ability to store carbon cannot be ignored. It is a useful nature-based solution to help reduce our emissions but it’s not the only one! 

What can I do to further mangrove conservation? 

  1. Show your support for mangroves in native areas –
    Find out if mangroves are native to your surroundings. If they are, vocalise your support for them and educate your community on the importance of mangroves.

    If your local mangroves are subject to degradation, rally support for preservation and speak to your local authorities. You can also keep track of mangrove restoration through the Mangrove Restoration Tracker tool.  
     
  1. Be a considerate tourist –
    Mangrove tourism exists across 93 countries, with boating being the most popular activity. So next time you travel, appreciate mangroves and the diverse wildlife they host but don’t leave anything behind!

    You can also participate in mangrove planting, for example, in the Philippines, through the Planeterra Project.  
     
A bridge leading across water and into a mangrove forest.

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How can I tackle a problem as complex as climate change?

A ripple of water. Ocean Generation makes environmental science easy to understand and shares how each individual has a ripple effect on the environment and health of the Ocean.

The Ocean has never been this subjected to the level of intensity of climate change impacts caused by human activities. With every 0.1 degree C of warming, we make it more and more difficult for humans, flora, and fauna to adapt. 

A warming Ocean means that marine ecosystems like coral reefs and salt marshes are less able to host marine biodiversity and sustain many benefits for humans.

This also disrupts the Ocean’s ability to regulate the global climate system, water, and carbon cycle. 

It goes without saying that the climate crisis is now a defining issue of our lifetimes, and we have a slim window of opportunity to reduce our collective impact. 

Four images side by side: Rough blue Ocean waves and foam, a factory releasing carbon emissions behind a field of yellow floowers, a single green lead on a crusty dry piece of Earth, a bright pink and healthy coral in the Ocean. Ocean Generation makes climate science simple to understand.

Is there a way out of the climate crisis? 

The Ocean stores 20-30% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activities but this is unsustainable, resulting in an acidic, slow circulating, less oxygenated Ocean.

To put it simply, we need to rapidly reduce our emissions to give young people and future generations a chance to secure a sustainable future.  

According to the latest IPCC report, we need to cut global GHG emissions by nearly half by 2030. These emissions come from electricity production, food, agriculture, land use, industry, transportation etc. Cutting emissions requires global collaboration and cooperation – from governments to individuals.  

The challenge is immense, but the solutions could not be clearer.

A ripple of water. Ocean Generation makes environmental science easy to understand and shares how each individual has a ripple effect on the environment and health of the Ocean.

What do we need to do to limit global warming?  

Some of these solutions have already been set in motion: Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, increasing uptake of clean energies, restoring carbon sinks, and much more. The slow pace of adoption and funding associated with these solutions have been repeatedly questioned, given the world is currently at 1.1C.  

The effects of climate change are already being felt in different corners of the world, albeit disproportionately.  

In order for us to stay within any warming limit, we need to make the necessary changes needed to sustain humanity as a whole. And as individuals, each and every one of us have carbon footprints attached to our households and lifestyles.  

We must address the fact that
we do not emit emissions equally 

Globally, there are huge disparities between those who over-consume and those who consume less due to socioeconomic and geographic factors.  

In fact, the top 10% of high-income households contribute 34–45% of consumption-based household GHG emissions and the bottom 50% contribute 13–15%.  

These stark differences mean that individuals in the top 50% are the in the best position to reduce their emissions, giving the opportunity to raise living standards for those in the bottom 50%.  

When considering our lifestyles, the conclusions are quite similar. 

What impact do our lifestyle choices have on carbon emissions?  

According to 2022 UNEP report, “the lifestyles of the wealthiest 10% of the world’s population (broadly speaking, most middleclass persons living in industrialised countries), are responsible for almost half of the global emissions, while the lifestyles of the wealthiest 1% are responsible for about twice as many GHG emissions as the poorest 50%”.  

Lifestyles are not just about the things we consume, but also addresses the communities we live in, the values we foster and the choices we make.

Individuals that are socio-economically well-off are in an instrumental position for enabling change. One paper suggests that individuals in this category could reduce emissions as role models, citizens, organisational participants, investors, and consumers.  

Ultimately, environmental, and societal well-being go hand-in-hand; it is in humanity’s best interests to fairly consume within our means.  

Footprint made of sea shells on the sand at a beach. Each of us has carbon footprints attached to our households and lifestyles. We can minimise our impact with every decision we make.

What can people to do to lower their carbon emissions 

There are four key areas where individuals can have the most impact: Food, transport, housing, and the things we buy (like appliances, clothes etc).  

There is no denying that industry supply chains have a responsibility to reduce environmental impacts and provide sustainable choices. Small, and local businesses also tend to be more transparent, gaining consumer trust. Low-carbon alternatives exist in each of the aforementioned areas, and we can collectively vouch for further changes, whether that’s accessibility or affordability.  

At Ocean Generation, we will be covering climate change solutions under each of the above areas through 2023. Namely:

What we Eat food sources, diets, and food waste 
How we Move modes of mobility 
What we Purchase appliances, fashion 
How we Live energy sources and energy-saving behaviours 

Four areas where individuals have agency over their emissions: how we move, how we live, what we purchase and what we eat. Ocean Generation will be covering solutions related to climate change because climate solutions are Ocean solutions. We cannot have a healthy planet without a healthy Ocean.

Climate change solutions are Ocean solutions, and vice versa.

The finite resources on this planet need to be utilised efficiently and distributed equally while minimising our impact with each and every decision we make.  

The future of the Ocean is very much in our own hands.  

With every 0.1C degree warming avoided, biodiversity and humans are given another chance. Let’s make every choice count!  

The future of the Ocean is in our hands. To have a healthy planet, we need a healthy Ocean. Ocean Generation shares climate change solutions and Ocean solutions to safeguard our planet.

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What is the UN High Seas Treaty and why does it matter? 

After two decades, the open Ocean or ‘high seas’ are on its way to being protected.  

On 20th February 2023, the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) resumed negotiations in attempt to agree on a treaty to protect the high seas.

The last negotiations were held in August 2022 and ended without agreement.  

Our Ocean has been under pressure for decades and we cannot ignore the Ocean emergency,” said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General in a statement, reiterating the need for a treaty that paves the way for a sustainable Ocean. 

What are the “high seas”? 

High seas refer to the vast majority of the Ocean that lies beyond national jurisdictions. This open water is not governed by any one country and covers 64% of the Ocean’s surface. 

Global map showing the extent of exclusive economic zones (EEZ’s) and the high seas. [Extracted from Sumaila et al.]

What does the High Seas Treaty mean for our Ocean 

After an extra day of intense negotiations, IGC president, Rena Lee, Singapore, announced that the United Nations (UN) High Seas Treaty had been agreed.

This was a monumental milestone twenty years in the making.

“The ship has reached the shore!” – IGC President, Rena Lee, Singapore when the High Seas Treaty was accepted in 2023.
[Credit: Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis] 

“The ship has reached the shore!”

IGC President, Rena Lee, Singapore.

5 main takeaways from the High Seas Treaty:

Strengthening 30 x 30

This agreement seeks to protect 30% of the Ocean by 2030. This was an outcome from COP 15 (the global biodiversity conference held in Dec, 2022) that will be strengthened with the help of this treaty.  

Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) –

This treaty will provide the legal framework necessary to set up MPA’s as no such framework currently exists.  

Conference of the Parties (COP) –

Establish a COP to ensure accountability on issues like biodiversity and governance.  

Marine Genetic Resources (MGR’s) –

Highlighting the need for processes to share genetic resources like plants and animals for pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics, etc.  

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s) –

Greater obligations to conduct EIA’s on activities relating to pollution or any potential effects on the marine environment that is unknown or not yet fully understood.  

 Ocean Generation’s Statement on the High Seas Treaty: 

“We are delighted to hear that the UN High Seas Treaty has finally become a reality.  

A healthy Ocean is vital for the survival of all living things, and this is the message we continue to deliver through our work at Ocean Generation. Protecting 30% by 2030 must, however, be seen as a minimum requirement.  

We view this agreement as a starting point. The Ocean is our ally in the fight against climate change and we must stop underestimating its role in our survival. The sooner this treaty is ratified by all countries, the better chance we have of a safe and healthy future for the generations that will follow us.” 


Jo Ruxton MBE 
Founder of Ocean Generation 

We intend to update this article once the final text of the treaty has been published. 

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Why protect blue carbon ecosystems?  

The Ocean stores a considerable amount of our carbon:

The Ocean is one of the largest natural carbon sinks on Earth, making it a crucial component of the carbon cycle. This means that the Ocean captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

This carbon is stored in surface waters, eventually making its way into the deep Ocean. 

But there are other ways in which carbon is stored… 

The role of blue carbon  

All along our coastlines, we have unique ecosystems that capture and lock carbon away, mostly in the soil, for sometimes thousands of years.

These ecosystems are termed “blue carbon.”

This includes: 

Mangroves
Seagrass Meadows, and 
– Salt Marshes 

They can be potent carbon sinks, storing more carbon than forests on land, on a per-area basis, in the case of mangroves. Some of the other benefits include: 

– coastal protection (acting as a buffer between the Ocean and land) 
– increased biodiversity 
– reducing Ocean acidification  
– soil stabilisation 
– improved water flow and water quality  
– storm and flooding surge prevention, and  
– increased resilience to cyclones 

These ecosystems can be considered a nature-based solution in tackling the rise the carbon emissions.

But they are under threat. In fact, globally, between 20-50% of blue carbon ecosystems have already been converted or degraded.  

Drivers of blue carbon loss and degradation 

Our coastlines are often competed for – whether its daily Ocean activities or commercial purposes.

This invariably devalues existing blue carbon ecosystems. The main drivers of loss and degradation are: 

– salt ponds (for salt extraction) 
– agriculture  
excessive use of fertilisers (pollution)
intensive aquaculture
coastal infrastructure development  

The case for protection and restoration of blue carbon ecosystems 

If degraded or lost, blue carbon ecosystems have the potential to release the carbon back into the atmosphere.

This is not the best scenario, given carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are already reaching levels not experienced in at least 2 million years (!). 

Not only is protection and restoration good for the climate, but it also has the potential to create jobs and support economic growth.

Coastal ecosystems have the ability to mitigate around 0.5-2% of current global emissions. However, there is high uncertainty around its potential in the face of future climate scenarios, as well as loss of coastal land due to sea level rise.  

Many restoration efforts have failed in the past, mainly due to not addressing the root causes of degradation.

It is now understood that successful restoration efforts require local communities’ involvement at every stage, economic incentives, and robust frameworks for implementing and assessing these ecosystems.

Most importantly, reducing human activities in these areas can aid the recovery of these precious ecosystems.  

We need existing solutions to work together to reduce the adverse effects of the climate crisis.

We must protect what we have, restore what we have lost, and adapt to the circumstances we face.  

If the Ocean thrives, so do we. 

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Seagrasses: More than a Blue Carbon Solution

Why are seagrass meadows so important?

Seagrasses are among the most widespread coastal ecosystems worldwide and range from the tropics to boreal margins of the Ocean.

They are flowering plants that live in shallow waters that can sometimes be seen from space.  

The name seagrass stems from the many species with long and narrow leaves, which grow by rhizome extension and often spread across large “meadows” resembling grassland; many species superficially resemble terrestrial grasses. 

These deep-rooted meadows cover over 300,000km2, roughly the size of Italy, spanning 159 countries and six continents. They do not exist in Antarctica.  

Sometimes referred to as ‘lungs of the sea’, seagrasses play a multi-functional role to both human well-being and marine life, while being a globally significant carbon sink. 

Seagrass Meadow in Clack Reef, Australia. Seagrasses are incredible climate change fighters - Ocean Generation is sharing what makes this unsung ecosystem so special.

Seagrasses are a climate change solution 

According to UNEP, despite occupying just 0.1% of the Ocean floor, seagrasses store up to 18% of the global Oceanic carbon, which is estimated to be 38,000 billion metric tons

What’s more:

– They can store twice the amount of carbon per hectare when compared to terrestrial forests. 

– The carbon is stored almost entirely in the soils, measuring up to four metres deep.

– They can act as a buffer for Ocean acidification, depending on environmental conditions, which benefits calcifying organisms like corals and shellfish. 

But that’s not all!  

How seagrasses support marine life 

Seagrasses are biologically rich and diverse habitats where species come together for many reasons. 

Some organisms – primarily large grazers like manatees, dugongs, green sea turtles and geese – eat the living leaves directly, and seagrass forms a major component of their diets.

For example, an adult dugong eats about 64 to 88 pounds (28 to 40 kg) of seagrass a day, while an adult green sea turtle can eat about 4.5 pounds (2 kg) per day. 

Apart from being a food source, seagrass meadows provide protection for burrowing anemones, bivalve molluscs and burrowing urchins that lie buried in the sand beneath. 

They also act as crucial nursery grounds for species like the European eel. It is estimated that 17 species of coral reef fish spend their entire juvenile life stage solely on seagrass flats. 

Four ways seagrass meadows benefit humans 

There are numerous ways in which seagrasses benefit us outside of their climate change mitigation potential. Benefits include: 

Food Security
They support global fisheries, acting as nursery habitats for commonly consumed species like crustaceans and molluscs.  

Coastal Protection
Seagrasses have an extensive root system that stabilises the sea bed, similar to terrestrial grasses preventing soil erosion. In this way, they protect coastlines from flooding and storm surges. 

Tourism
Whether its swimming with green turtles (Akumal, Mexico) or diving with dugongs (Marsa Alam, Egypt), seagrass meadows are a great place to positively interact with the diverse marine life it hosts.

They are also important for historical heritage, from shipwrecks to submerged ancient cities. 

Disease Control
Seagrasses can control diseases by reducing bacterial pathogens from harming humans, fish, and invertebrates. 

Seagrass along the coast of Spain.

Why are seagrasses threatened? 

According to one report, since 1990, there is a 7% decline in seagrass cover area globally per year, which is equivalent to a football field of seagrass every 30 minutes.  

The main threats to seagrasses are: 

– Climate Change (for example, heat stress through increases in temperature) 
– Pollution (urban, industrial, and agricultural run-off) 
– Coastal Infrastructure Development (incl. dredging) 
– Overfishing (incl. bottom trawling), and  
– Boating Activities 

…but all hope is not lost! 

The role of policy is a crucial top-down approach to restore and protect seagrasses at a broader scale.  

With the widely accepted Global Biodiversity Framework, 30% of coastal and marine ecosystems need to be protected, including blue carbon ecosystems like seagrasses. Although, at present, mangroves and coral reefs are better protected under MPA’s than seagrasses.  

The variety of ecosystem services that seagrasses provide has resulted in increasing knowledge of their value in recent years. However, there are still large knowledge gaps among the general public. 

The best way to protect seagrasses is to understand them within local environments and manage threats effectively.

School of fish swimming near a seagrass meadow in the Ocean.

Restoration Spotlight: Seagrasses in the Eastern Shore of Virginia 

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science and The Nature Conservancy have been conducting an extensive seagrass meadow restoration for almost 20 years, creating 3,612 hectares of new seagrass beds.  

To achieve that, the team of researchers and volunteers had to actively plant more than 70 million seeds of eelgrass on a 200-hectare plot just off the southern end of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Within 10 years, the seagrasses covered an area that would naturally take over 100 years to grow. The scientists also noted increased water quality, nitrogen storage and carbon sequestration.  

This initiative offers a glimpse into the benefits of resilient seagrass meadows and its importance in addressing climate change.

  

Seagrasses can help us solve our biggest environmental challenges.

They purify water, they protect us from storms, they provide food to hundreds of millions of people, they support rich biodiversity, and they efficiently store carbon.

In light of everything seagrasses do for people and nature, protecting and restoring them is vital.”  


Ronald Jumeau 
Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador for Climate Change 
Republic of Seychelles 

What can I do to help protect seagrasses? 

  1. Be a considerate tourist –  

Exploring tourist-friendly seagrass meadows can be a great way to develop an appreciation for these wonderful plants and all that they hold. But please don’t pluck them or hurt any marine species when visiting.

  1. Become a citizen scientist –  

Furthering scientific knowledge is not a one-person effort and so, public participation in citizen science projects are a fantastic way to contribute. 

The SeagrassSpotter project has been created by Project Seagrass in association with Cardiff University and Swansea University. Using SeagrassSpotter, you can help locate seagrasses which will be used by scientists for research including the prediction of locations for restoration. 

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20 Actions to Reduce and Reuse Plastic

The most effective way you can address plastic pollution is rethinking your relationship with it.

We’re sharing 20 ways you can reduce and reuse plastic.

Making these simple plastic swaps and adopting more sustainable daily habits will reduce plastic use, pollution from reaching our Ocean and ensure a healthier, greener planet.

Enough talk – let’s take action.

1. Buy a reusable shopping bag or tote.

Reduce your plastic use by purchasing reusable tote bags.

2. Use a reusable drinking cup.

3. Buy fruit and vegetables with plastic-free packaging.

4. Buy dry goods using your own reusable containers, instead of buying them in a single-use packet.

5. Buy a plastic-free cosmetics or household products, like bamboo toothbrushes or a bars of soap.

6. Ensure that nothing you purchase contains microbeads. They’re often found in children’s toys, toothpaste, bodyscrubs, and household cleaning products.

7. Make your own lunch instead of buying one wrapped in a single-use plastic wrapper

8. Swap over to reusable milk bottles. Even plant-based milks can get delivered to your doorstep these days.

9. Try having a plastic free period – check out mooncups, period pants and reusable applicators.

10. Use a silicone container or silicone lid instead of cling-film to store food.

11. Buy your butter wrapped in paper – you don’t need a plastic butter dish.

12. Choose cans over bottles when buying fizzy drinks and never buy bottled water.

13. Don’t celebrate events with balloon releases, the chances are the balloons will land in the Ocean.

14. Cigarette filters contain plastic and butts are some of the most frequently-found pieces of marine litter.

15. Wear clothes made from natural fibres like cotton, linen, bamboo or hemp vs polyester, nylon or spandex.

16. Try using pencils instead of pens. If you use a biro – use one that can be re-filled.

17. Ditch the single-use razors, nappies, and lighters. We have so many alternatives available to make sustainable swaps and reduce our daily plastic consumption.

18. Avoid plastic accessories, such as, hair bands, hair clips and jewellery.

19. Say no to plastic straws – use paper or bamboo straws instead.

20.  Pick up litter – even if it isn’t yours! Don’t let it reach our drains and waterways.

Finally: Remember that plastic was designed to last forever,
it has no place as a single-use material apart from in medicine.

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Say Ocean – not oceans.

There is only one Ocean.  

At school, we may learn that the Ocean has five separate regions, namely, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Artic and Southern Ocean. 

But our Ocean is not separated by borders. It’s connected as one and it works as a whole to help make all life on Earth possible.  

Connection with our Ocean

Talking about ‘Our Ocean’ as one Ocean reinforces the notion of its interconnectedness. 

We must all understand that: What happens in one part of the Ocean will have an impact on another part.

When 29,000 rubber ducks were washed into the North Pacific Ocean, they began showing up thousands of miles away in Alaska, Washington 10 months later.

This was known as “the quack heard around the world” and proved that a rubber duck (or a plastic bottle or whatever else) if chucked into a river could move across the Ocean and end up on the other side of the world. 

29,000 toy rubber ducks washed into the Ocean. 10 months later, they were showing up all around the world. It proved that our Ocean is one, connected system.

A similar story happened, when almost five million pieces of Lego escaped into the Ocean off the coast of Cornwall, spilled from a cargo ship. The tiny, plastic figurines are still being washed up on the beaches of Cornwall 25 years later

This not only highlights the interconnectedness of our Ocean, but also how our actions impact the entire Ocean.

What is your relationship with our Ocean?

We are all connected to the Ocean through weather, climate, and the very air we breathe. But everyone has their own unique experiences of the magic and beauty of the Ocean.  

We swim, sail and bathe by the beach. We eat fish or seaweed in sushi. We use products that are imported from other parts of the world – by boat. We listen to Ocean sounds on Spotify to relax us.  

Biologist Wallace J Nichols, the author of Blue Mind, says “We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.”

But the ways the Ocean provides life-support – like how it supplies the oxygen we breathe and nourishes the crops we eat – remains far less understood. 

This is where we come in.
Here at Ocean Generation, we want to rebuild this connection.

A diver in the Ocean, representing our connection with the Ocean. The Ocean supports all life on Earth and Ocean Generation wants to rebuild this human, Ocean connection so we can understand its importance.

Every drop of water is connected.

We don’t usually think of the water that comes out of our taps as the same water in the Ocean. But to quote a little fish…

All drains lead back to the Ocean.

Finding Nemo

The water that we use every day and the waterbodies in our communities connect us to the Ocean. All water eventually flows out to the Ocean.

Our Ocean is weaved into every part of our daily lives – and our actions have extraordinary impacts on it. 

#WeAreAllOcean

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The Ocean Generation is coming together to restore a healthy relationship between humanity and the Ocean. As the first generation to understand ocean issues, we are also the last generation who can stop them. 

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Mangrove Trees: A climate change solution

Along the fringes of coastlines, where land and Ocean meet, grow the world’s mighty mangrove trees.

These resilient trees grow along shorelines, with their complex root networks stretching deep into the mud. These coastal ecosystems are found on every continent except Antartica.

Although mangroves may not look like much, they have unique adaptations that allow them to live in saltwater environments and provide crucial habitats for many marine species. 

Why are mangrove trees an Ocean solution 

Mangrove ecosystems are a potent, nature-based solution tackling Ocean threats like climate change and loss of biodiversity.

They are the only forests situated at the confluence of land and sea in the world’s subtropics and tropics and are often called “coastal woodlands”, “tidal forests” and “mangrove forests.”

So, what makes mangroves a climate solution? 

Here are 5 ways mangroves trees tackle climate change:

Mangroves are carbon sinks 

Mangrove trees are highly effective carbon sinks. They sequester (the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere) 3 – 5 times more carbon per hectare than rainforests and they store up to 5 times more carbon per equivalent area.  

Carbon stored in mangrove forests is considered blue carbon as it’s stored on the coast.

“The soil of mangrove forests alone can hold more than two years of global emissions – that’s 22 billion tons of carbon,” according to Project Drawdown. This is why they are a huge Climate Action solution!    

Mangrove forests are biodiversity hotspots 

There are up to 25 more species of fish and other wildlife in mangroves than in areas where they have been cut down.

Mangroves also provide nesting and breeding habitats for fish and shellfish, birds and sea turtles. 

How do mangrove trees improve food security

For people living in coastal regions, healthy mangrove forests provide a healthy ecosystem from which to fish – and healthy farmland from which to grow crops and other produce.   

Mangroves are storm protectors 

Mangroves act as natural protection for coastal communities as they protect them from increased storm surges, flooding and hurricanes.  

Your coastal water quality ensurer 

The heavy network of mangrove roots helps filter sediments, heavy metals and other pollutants. This prevents the contamination of waterways and preserves delicate habitats like coral reefs and seagrass beds.  

We’re losing mangrove forests at an alarming rate 

Mangroves are some of the world’s most valuable coastal ecosystems and yet we’ve lost around 50% of Earth’s mangroves in the past 50 years alone. 

If this trajectory continues, we could lose all mangroves within the next 100 years.

By destroying mangrove habitats we not only take away a source of carbon sequestration, we also release all the carbon stored back into the atmosphere.   

Take climate action: Plant a mangrove

At Ocean Generation, we recognise the that planting mangrove trees is a simple and effective step to take Ocean action – and it’s accessible to everyone.  

Introducing: The Mangrove Mandate

We’re partnering with local experts to restore mangrove forests in Madagascar. Not only does it give you a chance to take Ocean action at the click of a button but it embodies the way we see the Ocean: as part of the solution; not a victim to the world’s problems.

“How can I plant a mangrove tree?”

  • Follow Ocean Generation on Instagram 
  • For every follow, we’ll plant a Mangrove tree in your name.

We can regenerate a Madagascar Mangrove together!

Ocean Generation is the Ocean charity that teaches people about the Ocean and helps them take action to mitigate the climate crisis. In 2022, Ocean Generation planted 1,027 mangrove trees to sequester carbon and protect the planet.

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