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Policy and investor recommendation on ecosystem services and an understanding of their limits and thresholds

Seaweed cultivation is a resource production with the potential to enhance biodiversity, uptake excess nutrients and sequester carbon.

The European Commission has recognized its potential, and listed actions necessary to unlock the algae potential in the communication from the Commission towards a strong and sustainable EU Algae Sector. Nevertheless, seaweed has not yet been integrated into other strategies, frameworks, or directives. In this policy brief, we outline the potential of seaweed as a sustainable biomass, the quantification and valuation methodologies and give an overview of the current existing credits for the three abovementioned ecosystem services. There are remaining uncertainties in the quantification methodologies, while recognizing this, we also give examples of how the certification process can be done including the uncertainties.

We recommend the following:

  • Include blue carbon in the regulatory framework.
  • Recognize seaweed cultivation as a carbon-fixing practice.
  • Use nutrient remediation as a functioning nature-based solution.
  • Support the understanding of the effect of seaweed cultivation on biodiversity.
  • Support development of a certification process.
  • Adapt the additionality criterion in certification.
  • Assess the optimal scale.
  • Set limits of acceptable change of the ecosystem with seaweed farms.
  • Finance for research.
  • Develop investors guidelines.

Read the full publication here.

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