Economic Valuations : Blue Carbon Potential of the MPA system in Turkey

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Economic Valuations : Blue Carbon Potential of the MPA system in Turkey

Economic Valuations : Blue Carbon Potential of the MPA system in Turkey

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  • Within the marine areas bordering Turkey’s lengthy coastline is found an abundant, highly diverse and globally significant biodiversity endowment. Overall, some 3,000 plant and animal species have been identified in Turkey’s territorial sea. Economically important fish species include anchovy, horse mackerel, bonito, sardine, bluefish, mullet and turbot. The major threats facing Turkey’s marine areas are habitat degradation associated with uncontrolled and fast coastal development.Protected areas have a potentially significant, yet largely unrealized, role to play in eliminating these threats to marine area biodiversity in Turkey. Currently, about 2.8% of Turkey’s territorial waters is protected.
  • The Project is executedby theMinistry of Environment and Urbanization through the General Directorate for Protection of Natural Assets. (The partnersare the Ministry of Forest and WaterAffairsthrough the General Directorate of NatureConservation and NationalParks and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestockthrough the General Diractorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture)The proposed long-term solution for marine biodiversity conservation in Turkey’s territorial sea is a reconfigured MCPA network designed to protect biodiversity while optimizing its ecological service functions – under effective and sustainable adaptive management. This long-term solution is seen to rest on three main pillars. First, the solution depends on adequate capacities on the part of key management agencies to identify, and focus suitable management efforts on, highly sensitive and/or biologically significant areas within the existing MCPA structure, while also being able to target gaps in representation that can be filled through MCPA expansion. Second, it requires a system of sustainable financing involving the integration of sustainable financing mechanisms and the application of economics into the planning and management of MCPAs. Third, the solution needs to be based on effective mechanisms for inter-sectoral co-operation that bring to bear the relevant strengths of various management agencies and branches of Government and civil society to solve marine biodiversity conservation challenges. The key barriers to the long-term solution act by preventing the emergence and operation of the above three pillars.
  • (“SEPA” stands for Special Environmental Protection Area. It is one of the MCPA status by Turkish law. These areas were managed by the executing agency: the General Directorate for Protection of Natural Assets. The other project site the AyvalikAdalari Nature Park is managed by the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks.)Turkish MPA system only lies within the Mediterranean - covering the Aegean Sea as well – coats of Turkey. No MPAs exist on the coasts of the Sea of Marmara nor in the Turkish Black Sea. This is one of the reasons why these MCPAs were selected for the Turkish Project. In addition, the project executing agency which has around 70% of the MCPAs management in Turkey is selected to execute this project at their PAs. Moreover, at these selected PAs baseline biodiversity and socio-economy studies were availablefor management preparations. Therefore ease the project implementation for the enhanced effective management.
  • For an optimum growth Posidonia needs transparent waters. For this reason, the presence of dense and large meadows is a clear sign of the quality of its waters. It’s endemic yet very restricted in the Mediterranean due to anthropogenic disturbances -  constitute 3% of the basin. This corresponds to a surface area of about 38,000 square kilometer. It is found at depth ranges of 5 to 50 meters.
  • Marine vegetation including the Posidoniaseagrasses, store Carbon mainly in the organic soil. Over 95%–99% of total carbon stocks of seagrasses (& tidal marshes) are stored in the soils beneath them. This is different than forest ecosystems where the C stocks are usually higher in the living biomass.
  • The total surfacearea of Posidoniameadows in Gokova SEPA is calculated at 13 km2 (1300 ha).
  • The total surfacearea of Posidoniameadows in Foca SEPA is calculated at 6,7 km2 (670 ha).
  • This slide gives the information on the total blue carbon value for the project sites, and extrapolates this value 5,367,148 USD (161,071 ha) to all national system covering 346,138 ha (including the 105,922 ha new MCPAs established by the project).


  • 1. ECONOMIC VALUATIONS: BLUE CARBON POTENTIAL OF THE MPA SYSTEM IN TURKEY CBD COP-11 side event GEF’s support to Marine Protected Areas Conserving ocean’s ecosystems, species and livelihoods GEF contribution to Aichi Targets
  • 2. • A relatively long coastline 8,500 km - excluding islands • Overall, 3,000 plant and animal species in Turkey’s territorial sea. • The total number of marine and coastal protected areas: 31. • The total marine and coastal protected area coverage is 240,216 ha. 2.8%. MPAs of Turkey
  • 3. The project is executed by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization through the General Directorate for Protection of Natural Assets. Objective: To facilitate expansion of the national system of marine and coastal protected areas and improve its management effectiveness. Global Environment Facility funded and implemented through UNDP. The Strengthening the System of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas of Turkey Project (2009-2014)
  • 4. Foça SEPA Ayvalık Adaları Nature Park Gökova SEPA Köyceğiz-Dalyan SEPA Datça-Bozburun SEPA Fethiye-Göcek SEPA Project Sites: 5 SEPAs and 1 Nature Park
  • 5. • Part of a larger valuation study on six MCPAs in Turkey • Motivation behind the valuation of seagrasses Demonstration sites : Gökova SEPA & Foça SEPA ES valuation for Blue Carbon
  • 6. Mediterranean Seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) • A flowering plant that grows in marine, fully saline environments • Among the 60 seagrass species that exist globally • Seagrasses occur in all shallow coastal areas of the world (except Antarctica) • Endemic to the Mediterranean • Form meadows and grow in sandy or rocky sediments along the coasts Mediterranean Seagrasses
  • 7. Mediterranean seagrass meadows • “Lungs of the sea” (+/- 14 lt O2/m²/day ) • Support high biomass  Fish nursery and fishing grounds • Enable protection against coastal erosion • Cycle nutrients • Reduce silt accumulation • Contribute to the production of organic carbon via the process of photosynthesis  C sequestration • Provide social and cultural values.
  • 8. 8 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 Tropical Forests Oceanic Mangroves Estuarine Mangroves Tidal Salt Marshes Seagrasses Organic Soil Carbon Living Biomass Soil-carbon values for first meter of depth only (Total depth = up to several meters) For Comparison: tCO2e per Hectare, Global Averages
  • 9. Methodology for Valuation • Literature review on Posidonia’s C flows (sequestration) & C sink capacity (tCO2 eq/ha/yr) • Avoided Cost Method • GIS Assessment of Posidonia distribution and surface occupied at study sites • Application of Carbon Market Prices • Lowerbound $11.2/tCO2 eq (based on Voluntarily traded av. prices for Turkey in 2010)
  • 10. Seagrass Distribution in Gökova SEPA Total surface = 13 km2
  • 11. Total Surface = 6,7 km2 Seagrass Distribution in Foça SEPA
  • 12. Site Posidonia surface (ha) C seq † (tCO2eq/ ha/yr) Soil C released †** (tCO2eq/ ha/yr) Total C loss per site (tCO2eq /yr) Value (US$11.2 / tCO2eq) Value US$/ ha/yr Value US$/yr PV (10 yrs, 10%) US$ Gökova 1 300 4,4 50 70 720 609 792 064 5 658 954 Foça 670 36 448 408 218 2 916 541 Total 1 970 54,4 107 168 609 1 200 282 8 575 495 † Based on Duarte et al 2010 & Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions 2010 Avoided Carbon Emissions ** Assuming a 10 year release period of soil carbon after habitat destruction
  • 13. Blue Carbon Valuation for the Turkish MPA System • Gökova SEPA : 792,064 USD • Foça SEPA : 408,218 USD •Datça-Bozburun SEPA : 2,510,234 USD •Koycegiz Dalyan SEPA : 54,226 USD •Fethiye-Göcek SEPA : 944,384 USD •Ayvalik Adalari Nature P.: 658,022 USD •TOTAL for project sites : 5,367,148 USD •TOTAL Annual Value Estimate for the Turkish MPA System: 11,533,882 USD Total Annual Value for Project Sites:
  • 14. Conclusions • Embedded natural capital • Main threats facing Posidonia • Unmanifested/unperceived values • Research & monitoring needs • Conservation & financing opportunities
  • 15. Thank You Compiled by: Harun Guclusoy Edited by: Johan Robinson & Nik Sekhran Presented by: Nik Sekhran