Landscape and Urban Planning
The ability of vegetated coastal ecosystems to sequester high rates of “blue” carbon over millennial time scales has attracted the interest of national and international policy makers as a tool for climate change mitigation. Whereas focus on blue carbon conservation has been mostly on threatened rural seascapes, there is scope to consider blue carbon dynamics along highly fragmented and developed urban coastlines. The tropical city state of Singapore is used as a case study of urban blue carbon knowledge generation, how blue carbon changes over time with urban development, and how such knowledge can be integrated into urban planning alongside municipal and national climate change obligations. A systematic review of blue carbon studies in Singapore was used to support a qualitative review of Singapore’s blue carbon ecosystems, carbon budget, changes through time and urban planning and policy. Habitat loss across all blue carbon ecosystems is coarsely estimated to have resulted in the release of ∼12.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide since the beginning of the 20th century. However, Singapore’s remaining blue carbon ecosystems still store an estimated 568,971 – 577,227 tonnes of carbon (equivalent to 2.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide) nationally, with a small proportion of initial loss offset by habitat restoration. Carbon is now a key topic on the urban development and planning agenda, as well as nationally through Singapore’s contributions to the Paris Agreement. The experiences of Singapore show that coastal ecosystems and their blue carbon stocks can be successfully managed along an urban coastline, and can help inform blue carbon science and management along other rapidly urbanizing coastlines throughout the tropics.
© 2022 The Authors.
This is an open access article under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND) license.
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Original Publication Citation
Friess, D. A., Gatt, Y. M., Fung, T. K., Alemu, J. B., Bhatia, N., Case, R., Chua, S. C., Huang, D., Kwan, V., Lim, K. E., Nathan, Y., Ow, Y. X., Saavedra-Hortua, D., Sloey, T. M., Yando, E. S., Ibrahim, H., Koh, L. P., Puah, J. Y., Teo, S. L.-M., . . . Yaakub, S. M. (2023). Blue carbon science, management and policy across a tropical urban landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning, 230, 1-13, Article 104610. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104610
Friess, Daniel A.; Gatt, Yasmine M.; Fung, Tze Kwan; Alemu, Jahson B. I; Bhatia, Natasha; Case, Rebecca; Chua, Siew Chin; Huang, Danwei; Kwan, Valerie; Lim, Kiah Eng; Nathan, Yudhishthra; Ow, Yan Xiang; Saavedra-Hortua, Daniel; Sloey, Taylor M.; Yando, Erik S.; Ibrahim, Hassan; Koh, Lian Pin; Puah, Jun Yu; Lay-Ming Teo, Serena; Tun, Karenne; Wei Wong, Lynn; and Yaakub, Siti Maryam, "Blue Carbon Science, Management and Policy Across a Tropical Urban Landscape" (2023). Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. 520.