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IORA Workshop on Improving Knowledge for Research on Blue Carbon in the Western Indian Ocean: Focus on Seagrass and Mangrove Ecosystems

  • Theme of Event

    Blue Economy

  • Venue
    Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines, Toliara, Madagascar
  • Date
    29 – 04 May 2019

Seagrasses and mangroves both play a prominent role in Blue Carbon sequestration. These two ecosystems are however threatened in Madagascar, like in most of the Indian Ocean countries. Today, if mangroves are likely well documented, very few literatures talk about seagrass. Their impact on carbon sequestration as well as their geographical distribution have never been assessed in Madagascar.

This project is the beginning of a new research topic in Madagascar in terms of Blue Carbon and Seagrass Ecosystem and it is a long-term initiative to be undertaken under three phases, each comprising of specific activities, as follows:

  • Urgent: A training workshop is needed: (i) to understand the challenges, (ii) to know how to handle the problems in terms of strategy and methodology, (iii) followed by some field and lab works to confirm the skills received.

  • Medium-term: An in-depth research (PhD) project is already written to assess and monitoring the actual situation of seagrass and the potentiality of carbon sequestration in Madagascar. The same should be programmed, if not yet done, in the other countries of the Indian Ocean.  

  • Long-term: After collecting all requested data and needed information, policy makers would be able to proceed to updates of the governance and thus, reinforce conservation and restoration strategies.

The one week interdisciplinary training workshop will primarily be lecture-based, including interactive discussions, country presentations, exercises and simulations. Lectures and field demonstration, including coring will be given by experts in Blue Carbon research from CSIRO. Participants from IORA Member States will also be requested to provide a 10-15 minutes presentation on their respective country experience on Blue Carbon and the Blue Economy. They will also have the opportunity to explore ways of collecting Blue Carbon related data during field work around Toliara.


The main objectives of the project are:

  • To organize and realize an intensive one-week interdisciplinary training workshop program about marine ecosystems related to Blue Carbon.
  • To explore ways of collecting Blue Carbon related data. Noting that there are 5 different seagrass and mangrove areas around Toliara, which is particularly interesting for the workshop and the envisioned research project.
  • To start a PhD research on the governance of resources, protection and conservation, concerning biomass mapping, diversity and geographical distribution of seagrass ecosystems, to learn about the amount of carbon sequestrated by seagrass beds in Madagascar and to assess the extent to which seagrass ecosystems in Madagascar contribute to climate change mitigation.