Blue Carbon Geonode

Online tool for scientists to record blue forest ecosystems, calculate carbon content and visualise it in a education platform

Client GRID-Arendal
UN SDGs 13 Climate Action 14 Life Below Water
ImpactNorway Portugal Spain
TechnologiesPHP, MySQL

01 Introduction

GRID-Arendal is a Norwegian non-profit environmental communications centre that collaborates with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). They approached us to develop an application for recording field measurements of blue carbon habitats off the coasts of Portugal, Norway, and Spain.

Blue carbon habitats like seagrass meadows, salt marshes, and mangroves have immense value for carbon storage and sequestration. However, data on the location and condition of these habitats is lacking. The Blue Forests Project aimed to map these habitats while engaging local communities and students in conservation efforts.

The key objectives were to:

  • Allow scientists to log coordinates, habitat data, species information, and sediment measurements
  • Calculate ecosystem metrics like sediment density and carbon content
  • Verify data accuracy before publication
  • Visualise datasets on interactive maps
  • Develop educational materials for communities and classrooms

02 The Project

We designed a web application for field data entry with integrated sensors, formulas for real-time calculations, and administrator review tools. Scientists can easily record locations, classified habitat types and species, sediment sample weights across containers, and sensor readings.

Administrators then put submissions through a verification process comparing data, sensor ranges, formulas, and location accuracy. Verified entries are synced to a database and made viewable through dynamic web maps comparing habitat types, carbon stores, and measurement densities.

The application interfaces with a website providing open access to aggregated data visualisations and summaries alongside background materials, student curriculum, and community engagement guides around conserving blue carbon ecosystems.

03 Conclusion

Despite some challenges timelines, we delivered an end-to-end system allowing extensive field research while connecting findings to public outreach. Early results have informed policy recommendations around expanded protections. The open data and education portal continues to inform research worldwide while bringing local coastal communities together around conservation efforts.


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