BCSS Facilitated Fieldwork for Data Used in IUCN Report ‘Coastal Blue Carbon Stocks in Tanzania and Mozambique’

In April 2019, students Sara Forsberg (Stockholm University, Sweden), Manuela Amone and Laura Chivale (Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique) visited BCSS and used our platform to conduct research on blue carbon, which refers to carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere, buried and accumulated as organic matter in soils, mostly via plant growth, in the scope of a Master thesis and PhD chapter. The research findings ended up contributing to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report “Coastal Blue Carbon Stocks in Tanzania and Mozambique: Support for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Actions”.

With the Bazaruto Archipelago often considered a complex location to conduct research because of challenging infrastructure needed to work, and the costs of visiting, BCSS is excited to have been able to facilitate the students’ thesis and PhD chapter, welcoming a new era of research and science in the region.

The fieldwork was executed as part of Sara Forsberg’s Masters dissertation, and she was assisted in conducting the fieldwork by Manuela Amone, who was collecting the data for her PhD chapter on blue carbon, and Laura Chivale, another student at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique. The study aimed to assess organic and inorganic carbon stocks in sediments of seagrass meadows and mangrove forests. The fieldwork was conducted both within and outside of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), in order to understand whether existing MPAs contribute to efficient carbon sequestration; the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbondioxide. Sediment samples from seagrass meadows and mangrove forests in Tanzania and the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park were collected. The students also analyzed the variation of species of seagrass present at the site, with the aim to understand whether the different species aided carbon sequestration.

As BCSS offers a well-equipped working laboratory at the field station, the students used StableTemp Gravity Convection Ovens and an Analytical Balance to process the sediment samples. BCSS facilitated and assisted wherever needed and provided transportation to the locations where the samples were taken.

The Bazaruto Archipelago is a scientifically important location, as it is a national park with various ecosystems and a high level of biodiversity. At BCSS, we understand the environmental significance iof the area and as a research station our mission is to be an international example of research programs, with tangible results to benefit as many people as possible. Being able to assist Sara, Manuela and Laura in collecting data was fantastic and the BCSS team is happy to see that, if the appropriate infrastructure is provided, students can execute their projects in detail and excel. Our aim is to facilitate more scientific work in the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park so there is a depth of information available for strategic decision-making.

Download the full IUCN report here.

For questions regarding the Sara Forsbergs Master thesis, Manuela Amone’s PhD or BCSS’s research facilities, please get in touch with our Research Manager Karen Bowles (Karen.Bowles@bcssmz.org).

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