Carbon rich tropical wetlands (mangroves and peatlands) store more carbon per unit area than upland tropical rain forests or other wetland types. Deforestation of these wetlands is of immediate ecological and socio-economic concern, already leading to major greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increased vulnerability of communities to storm surges, threatened food and health security, and the loss of biodiversity. They are also high priority for inclusion in climate change adaptation and mitigation activities throughout the world but are not well studied or understood. The Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program (SWAMP) is a collaborative effort by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
SWAMP seeks to provide critical information on tropical wetland ecosystem values, how to more effectively conserve and restore them, and to increase awareness of the tremendous potential role these ecosystems can play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Results from SWAMP demonstrate that carbon stocks in these ecosystems are among the highest of any wetland or forest and land cover change in these ecosystems results in significant emissions of GHG. However, most countries do not have sufficient information to include wetlands in their national reports nor to develop plans for conserving or restoring wetlands as a strategy to avoid GHG emissions. SWAMP scientists collaborate with government, academic, and non-governmental partners around the world to better understand the carbon dynamics in these ecosystems and to support country-led efforts to reduce GHG emissions from mangrove and peatland ecosystems.
SWAMP activities are guided by the SWAMP Logic Model which has three components – research, practice and policy as shown below