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GO-BC Blue Carbon Workshop

Gujarat, India

Day 1: Mangrove Field Visits

On the first field day of the blue carbon workshop, Dr. Vijay Kumar and colleagues from the Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE) hosted Prof. Bill Austin and international blue carbon experts at the Lundi and Mundra mangrove field sites near Bhuj, Gujarat. The group discussed mangrove restoration practices in India and visited an area where mangrove replanting is currently taking place. At the mangrove field sites, the group met with the head fisherman of a local community, as well as an ADANI representative, to discuss realistic and effective management practices which are implemented in mangrove ecosystems along parts of Gujarat's coastline.

Day 2: Outreach School Visit

On the second field day in Bhuj, the blue carbon group visited a local high school near the coast to discuss how the local community engages with their coastline, and how they value local mangrove ecosystems. GO-BC gained valuable insights into the local communities' perspectives through organising a Q&A session with teachers and school children.

Day 3: Blue Carbon Science in India

Hosted by Ahmedabad University, the first day of the in-person workshop was kicked off by welcomes from the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmedabad University, a representative from the British High Commission New Delhi, and  workshop hosts Prof. Minal Pathak, Dr. Vijay Kumar, and Prof. Bill Austin. The first day consisted of presentations and discussions on emerging blue carbon science in the Indian subcontinent, with local representatives  presenting their cutting-edge research, from various institutions and universities, including: GUIDE, the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Ahmedabad University, MSU Baroda, and many more. The combined presence of local and external blue carbon experts fostered fantastic dialogue between scientists and policy makers in the Indian blue carbon space, promoting international collegiality.

Day 4: Identifying Blue Carbon Priorities in India

On the last day of the meeting, all meeting participants took part in a priority questions exercise, with the goal of identifying the most pressing and unanswered questions in BC science in India. All participants submitted suggestions for this exercise, which were later grouped into four themes: science, methodologies, policy, and socioeconomic issues. Questions from each theme were whittled down to the 12 most pressing questions in BC science. These 'Priority Questions' will form the basis of a manuscript which will help shape future  blue carbon research in India.

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