National Sun Yat-sen University held the "Pacific Blue Carbon Summit" on December 9. The Summit brought together ambassadors and representatives from six countries in Taiwan, including Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Palau David Adams Orrukem, Goodwill Ambassador John Tsai of the Embassy of the Republic of Palau, H.E. Ambassador Roudy Stanley Penn of the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti, Nauru H.E. Ambassador Jarden Kephas of the Embassy of Nauru, H.E. Ambassador Bikenibeu Paeniu of the Embassy of the Republic of Tuvalu, and Representative Mr. Tommy Kambu Kunji of the Commercial Representative Office of Papua New Guinea in Taiwan and the secretary of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Eswatini. Scholars and experts discussed how deep-sea blue carbon could store carbon dioxide for hundreds of years and alleviate climate change. In the future, deep-sea carbon storage may be used as carbon credits to offset carbon emissions from marine countries and even trade carbon credits, which will benefit island countries like Taiwan and other Pacific Ocean countries.
Various aspects were discussed such as blue carbon measurement methods, technology applications, and carbon trading valuation. Chin-Chang Hung, Dean of the College of Marine Sciences, first introduced Taiwan's carbon emissions and deep-sea blue carbon measurement methods, then estimated the total blue carbon sink in Taiwan's territorial and economic waters. Next, Wei-Jen Huang, Associate Professor of the Department of Oceanography, shared the application of in-flight carbon dioxide partial pressure measurement on research ships. Next, Sanjaya Weerakkody, a lecturer at the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology at Ruhuna University in Sri Lanka, took Sri Lanka as an example to introduce the contribution of coastal ecosystems to the blue carbon of the Indian Ocean. Next, Vicente G. Abedneko, the representative of Palau, used NSYSU's methods of measuring the deep-sea blue carbon sinks in the western Pacific Ocean to roughly estimate the potential of blue carbon sinks in the exclusive economic zone of Pacific countries and made carbon trading assessments. Next, Shang-Yin Vanson Liu, Associate Professor in the Department of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, started from Taiwan's seagrass restoration and talked about current development and prospects. Finally, Wei-Jen Huang, the general director of the New Ocean Researcher No. 3 and three technicians from the vessel explained how to deploy sediment collector strings on a research vessel and operate accessories and instruments for measuring ocean blue carbon sinks.
After the intensive discussions, participants from various countries gained insight into the importance of carbon sinks in the exclusive economic zone of island countries. The island countries can be global blue carbon suppliers to generate income from the blue carbon trade. The income can also be used in economics and engineering to prevent and control sea level rise. These cross-border exchanges also led to a plan to visit Palau next year for an on-site survey to seek the possibility of future cooperation.
The ocean, land (including forests) and atmosphere are the three main active carbon pools on Earth, accounting for 93%, 5% and 2% of the carbon storage, respectively. Better known to the public is the "green carbon" that absorbs carbon dioxide through the photosynthesis of trees. The sea mainly absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through "biological pumps" and "physical pumps." Mangroves, seagrass and salt flats in coastal areas can also absorb carbon dioxide, which is generally referred to as "ocean blue carbon." "Bio-pump," also known as deep-sea blue carbon, mainly captures carbon dioxide through the photosynthesis of marine microalgae, which is invisible to the naked eye. Some microalgae are consumed by zooplankton, which promotes the marine food chain and creates a carbon output flux.