This first-person account is part of a regular series of how Counterpart works in the field. This story is by Jennifer Norfolk, Senior Environmental Program Manager

At the recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Doha, negotiators from around the world came together to debate how to manage our changing climate. But they were not the only ones having important conversations about our planet’s future.

Surrounding the official negotiations were dozens of side events intended to educate negotiators and inform the global community on issues related to the talks.

Counterpart’s work on blue carbon contributed to these discussions at two of these side events.

At one, Dr. Boone Kauffman from Oregon State University, a leader in Counterpart’s blue carbon work, moderated a panel on mangroves and the importance of these wetlands in a changing climate. You can read about the event here.

The panel was held as a part of the Center for International Forestry Research’s Forest Day, which drew about 800 participants for discussions on the role of forests in climate change, best practices in conservation, and how Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation + policies can work for communities. Click here for more information on Forest Day.

At the second event, called the “Importance of Natural Coasts for Climate Change Mitigation,” researchers and policy makers focused entirely on coastal carbon. See a press release about this event.

Dr. Kauffman presented the work he has been doing with Counterpart on coastal communities and ecosystems in the Dominican Republic, and disseminated new data on the importance of mangrove carbon stocks.

This new data shows the high rate at which soil carbon is lost when mangroves are converted to shrimp ponds. This is an incredibly important step in enabling policymakers to assign significant value to mangroves.

Although these ecosystems are only one piece of a big climate challenge, Counterpart is proud to have informed the climate negotiations on this important issue.

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