Photo: Gaby Barathieu #oceandecade

Welcome to Blue Forest and Poverty Seminar

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the Norwegian Blue Forest Network would like to invite you to a technical webinar (hybrid) on the 8th of March 09:00 -12:00am CET: Blue Forest and Poverty - the role of blue forests in international development: From food security to climate change.

The seminar can be viewed here:

Del 1: Part 1: Blue Forest and Poverty Seminar - YouTube

Del 2: Part 2: Blue Forest and Poverty Seminar - YouTube

You can join either physically (Norad, 5th floor, Bygdøy Allé 2, max 50) or digitally. For in person participants, there will be coffee from 08:30 - 09:00 and lunch at 12:00.

Blue forests are coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass meadows, kelp forests and saltmarshes. Their role as a habitat for marine species as well as food and feed, makes them essential for both food security and the rising blue economy. Healthy blue forests also store large amounts of carbon and can protect coastal communities from storms, making them an important nature-based tool for climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Globally, decision makers are asking for support and guidance to better understand the importance of blue forests and how they can help achieve their local, national, and international goals and commitments. As more countries are engaging in coastal and marine management processes, it is important that they understand the full value of having healthy blue forests.

We will discuss opportunities and dilemmas when it comes to everything from harvesting more food from the oceans, to delving into the growing blue carbon market. In honor of the international women's day there will be a focus on gender aspects as well. We will hear from partner countries, FAO, World Bank, civil society, research institutions and more.

Welcome to join us for an interesting discussion!

Click here to register



Session 1: Blue Forests and Food Security

Time: 9:00-10:20

Moderator: Gabriella Kossmann


  • Gabriella Kossmann, Senior Advisor, Section for Oceans, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)
  • Cecilie Wathne, Leader of the Norwegian Blue Forests Network (NBFN)
  • Peter M. Haugan, Programme Director, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR)

Why are healthy blue forests so important?

  • Solrun Figenschau Skjellum, Research Director for Sustainable Societal Development, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)

Gender in Blue Forests: A PROBLUE Perspective

  • Harrison Charo Karisa, Senior Fisheries Specialist, World Bank Group

Healthy blue forests: A closer look at food security projects across the globe

  • Tanya Bryan, Senior Programme Officer, GRID-Arendal


Panel discussion:
Gabriella Kossmann
Panellists: Solrun Figenschau Skjellum and Tanya Bryan

Blue forests in Asia - recognizing their value and securing their benefits for coastal ecosystems and livelihoods

  • Simon Funge-Smith, Senior Fishery Officer, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Sustainability factors in tropical seaweed cultivation

  • Ian Bryceson, Professor, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)


Panel discussion:
Gabriella Kossmann
Panellists: Ian Bryceson and Dag Olav Hessen, Professor in Biosciences at the University of Oslo and Head of the Center for biogeochemistry in Anthropocene



Time: 10:20-10:30


Session 2: Blue Forests and Climate Change

Time: 10:30-12:00

Moderators: Cecilie Wathne and Peter M. Haugan


Healthy blue forests: A nature-based solution to climate change

  • Karen Filbee-Dexter, Post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and DECRA Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia

Understanding the threats to blue forests and how to address them

  • Hege Gundersen, Senior Research Scientist, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)

How the Seychelles is embracing blue forests in its NDCs

  • Angelique Pouponneau, Lawyer, Ocean and Climate Advisor & PhD candidate


Panel discussion:
Moderator: Cecilie Wathne
Panellists: Karen Filbee-Dexter and Hege Gundersen


Ocean accounting and its potential use to improve ocean management: case study on the pilot project of ocean accounting in Indonesia’s MPA

  • Firdaus Agung, Coordinator for the Conservation Convention and MPA Network, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, the Republic of Indonesia

Harnessing the value of blue carbon to protect and restore blue forests

  • Steven Lutz, Blue Carbon Lead, GRID-Arendal

Towards a nature-based sustainable and shared development

  • Ralph Chami, Assistant Director, Institute for Capacity Development, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Panel discussion:
Peter M. Haugan
Panellists: Steven Lutz, Angelique Pouponneau and Kirsten Isensee, Programme Specialist Blue Carbon at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO



  • Gabriella Kossmann, Cecilie Wathne and Peter M. Haugan


Lunch Time: 12:00 


Published 22.02.2022
Last updated 16.03.2022