Randall K. Kolka, USDA Forest Service (FS), Grand Rapids, MN
Carbon-rich tropical wetlands (mangroves and peatlands) are important in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and provide numerous ecosystem services such as storm protection, nursery areas for fish, habitat for rare species, long-term storage of carbon, and food, fiber, and fuel for humans. Because of their importance we developed the Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program (SWAMP) to assist countries with their accounting and conservation of tropical wetlands. SWAMP is a collaborative effort between the Center for International Forestry Research, USDA Forest Service, and Oregon State University through support from the US Agency for International Development. The goal of SWAMP is to provide policy makers and natural resource professionals with credible information and training to make sound decisions regarding the role of tropical wetlands in climate change adaptation and mitigation. The SWAMP objectives are to: (1) Quantify greenhouse gas emissions from intact and disturbed wetlands; (2) Quantify carbon stocks of representative tropical wetlands; (3) Develop carbon modeling tools and scaling approaches using remote sensing; (4) Define roles for tropical wetlands in climate change adaptation strategies; and (5) Promote capacity building and outreach as integral parts of all activities. Here we discuss the accomplishments of SWAMP, current activities and the future.