A study ensures that marine conservation mitigates climate change

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Marine areas help preserve marine flora and fauna, as well as sequester carbon and foster ecological and social adaptation to global warming

 A study ensures that marine conservation mitigates climate change

Marine protected areas act as safeguards for the oceans, They protect the seas and estuaries, as they help preserve the plants and animals that live in them, but the benefits of these protected areas extend much further. of its limits, since they help sequester carbon and promote ecological and social adaptation to climate change. This is exposed by a study published in the journal 'One Earth', where researchers say: “Marine protected areas are increasingly promoted as an ocean-based climate solution< /strong>, but these claims remain controversial due to the diffuse and poorly synthesized literature on the climate benefits of marine protected areas. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a systematic literature review of 22,403 publications covering 241 marine protected areas.”

“Low levels of human impact”

The study authors found that carbon sequestration in marine protected areas increased significantly in areas of seagrasses sea, in mangroves and in areas where sediments were not washed away.

“Partial or total degradation of mangroves and seagrass beds resulted in similar decreases in sequestered carbon< /strong>, indicating that even low levels of human impact result in significant carbon emissions,” they say.

In addition to increasing carbon sequestration, the preserved areas were more biodiverse, had higher species richness, and also showed benefits to humans. Marine Protected Areas were more food secure, and fish populations in the waters adjacent to these protected areas increased.

The authors note that mitigation and adaptation benefits have increased. n of these protected areas were only achieved with high levels of protection, and that the benefits increased the longer an area was protected.

“Across the four pathways tested, only full and high levels of protection produced mitigation or adaptation benefits, they write. Instead, low levels of protection generated no benefits. In addition, increases in species richness and fishermen's income occurred only in fully protected areas, where no fishing is allowed. fishing”.

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