Project Manager for the DLR Global Seagrass Watch technology transfer project
Seagrasses are one of the most valuable yet underestimated components of the world’s interconnected seascape environment along with mangroves, tidal flats, corals and kelp forests. Spread in 160 countries, seagrasses are vast carbon sinks storing 20% of the global oceanic carbon pool with burial rates 10 times larger than tropical forests, therefore heralded as nature-based solutions to climate change. Here, we present the Global Seagrass Watch project which is funded by DLR and supported by the GEO-GEE program. The project aims to build a cloud-native seagrass carbon monitoring service within the open Google Earth Engine platform, amalgamating cloud computing, artificial intelligence, open big satellite data with open field data collections. We demonstrate regional and national seagrass carbon stock inventories across 128,000 sq. km in East Africa which could assist policy makers and governments to update their Nationally Determined Contributions for strengthened climate action in and beyond East Africa.