The International Peatland Society (IPS) will hold a networking event on “Peatland Partnerships in Climate Change Mitigation and Nature Recovery” on Friday, 5 November 2021 at 11:30-13:00 hrs UTC+0 at the COP26 Peatland Pavilion in Glasgow, Scotland and virtually.
The programme and key messages of the speakers can be found below and at
To follow the event online and in real-time, register via https://globalpeatlands.online/PeatlandPavilionCOP26Registration.
In addition, the IPS has set up its own COP26 Peatland Portal as part of the virtual Peatland Pavilion that can be accessed online anytime at www.peatlands.org/cop26. This contains the most important facts, recent science presentations and policy papers on peat and peatlands on a global scale.
This week up to 30,000 decision-makers, politicians, NGOs, activists, and media meet in Glasgow for the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The IPS as an observer NGO is present at the Peatland Pavilion of the Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI). The IPS Vice Presidents, Guus van Berckel and Professor Jack Rieley attend the COP26 as accredited persons on behalf of the IPS; Dr Alue Dohong from Indonesia will open the IPS event on Friday.
In addition, the IPS contributes with its own Peatland Portal website to the virtual pavilion of GPI. We have collected the most important information on peat and peatlands, including the presentations of the International Peatland Congress, the Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management, the Wise Use of Mires and Peatlands and the Peatlands and Climate Change books, as well as data on the extent and use of peatlands, and their role in the economy and society. This information may be found on a special subpage of our website for the duration of COP26. The portal can be accessed at www.peatlands.org/cop26.
The programme of the networking event on 5 November contains the following presentations:
Welcome by Dr Alue Dohong, Deputy Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Republic of IndonesiaInternational Peatlands Partnerships, Marko Pomerants, IPS President / Jack Rieley, IPS 2nd Vice PresidentIntroduction to the revised IPS book, ‘Peatlands and Climate Change’ – Maria Strack
Peatland Restoration – Case of Canada – Pete Whittington and Line RochefortPeatlands Internationally – Case of Peru – Lydia Cole Conservation of Tropical Peatland from the Air and on the Ground – Darmae Nasir and Mark Harrison
From Facts to Policies – Peatland Fire Management in Indonesia – Rachel Carmenta
Peat – An Important Natural Resource for Food Security and Climate Change Mitigation – Guus van BerckelResponsible Peat Production – Maureen Kuenen German Peat Strategy: An Assessment – Bernd Hofer
Natural Capital in the Eco-Management of Tropical Peatlands – Mitsuru Osaki (PDF)Monitoring Peatlands and Restoration by Remote Sensing – Florian Siegert
MERLIN – Mainstreaming the Ecological Restoration of Freshwater-Related Ecosystems in a Landscape Context: Innovation, Upscaling and Transformation – Sebastian Birk (video)
Q & A and Network Panel Discussion – Chair Jack Rieley / Marko Pomerants
Most of the presentations are now available on the website of the IPS, in particular, at www.peatlands.org/ips-networking-event-5-november. Changes due to Covid-19 may apply.
The key statements of the presentations of the IPS peatland experts are as follows:
Maria Strack, Editor, University of Waterloo, Canada: Peatlands are extremely important for climate as they constitute important carbon stocks. The second edition of the Peatlands and Climate Change book, which will contain the latest research results from all sectors will be available in 2022. For additional information and to pre-order, please visit https://peatlands.org/peatlands-and-climate-change-2008-and-2021
Pete Whittington, Brandon University, Canada, and Coordinator of the IPS Expert Group Peatland Restoration & Line Rochefort, Université Laval, Canada: Prompt active restoration (with actions to favour the re-establishment of peat moss carpets, such as the moss layer transfer technique), and not just simply rewetting, is critical to ensuring that restored peatlands help mitigate climate change on a short time horizon. The techniques used to efficiently restore Sphagnum-dominated peatlands are well known; there is no longer any reason not to restore bogs, poor fens or muskegs.
Lydia Cole, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom: The peatlands of the lowland Peruvian Amazon in their largely hydrologically intact state, are important contributors to the high biodiversity of the region, and are central to its vast carbon store and its sequestration potential. They are also valuable landscapes for local communities living in and around them, and future conservation and land use policies must work in partnership with these communities to support their continued sustainable use of these wetland ecosystems.
Darmae Nasir & Mark Harrison, Borneo Nature Foundation International: Protection and restoration of tropical peatlands is of high importance for achieving emission reduction goals, with biodiversity “co-benefits” commonly targeted alongside these. Experience in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia highlights the high value of tropical peatlands for biodiversity in addition to climate targets, as well as the potential for peatland conservation and restoration in the region to simultaneously deliver progress towards these targets.
Rachel Carmenta, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom: Peat fires incur great damages to human health and wellbeing, release disproportionate carbon emissions and harm the economy. Yet their governance has proven an intractable challenge. Research suggests that a humanitarian narrative might be a powerful catalyst for transformative change towards fire free futures, uniting stakeholders with little else in common.
Guus van Berckel, Griendtsveen AG, the Netherlands: Peat is still the most important constituent of growing media, which is important for food production and climate change mitigation, for instance, by providing tree seedlings for afforestation. Worldwide demand is even increasing. Peat replacement by circular materials is already taking place, but this is often a challenge due to quality and quantity issues. Peat for horticulture is only extracted from 0.05% of all peatlands globally. The industry is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and responsible management, e.g., via certification.
Maureen Kuenen, Responsibly Produced Peat (RPP), the Netherlands: Responsibly Produced Peat can play an important role during the transition time needed to gradually replace peat in horticultural growing media with qualified and climate friendly materials. As long as peat needs to be used it shall come from responsible sources. RPP certification means that impact on High Conservation Values is prevented, and restoration or other wet after-use is secured. It creates opportunities for large scale restoration and paludiculture.
Bernd Hofer, Chair of IPS Commission Peatlands and Environment: Germany’s National Peatland Conservation Strategy aims to reduce annual GHG emissions from peatlands by 5 million CO2 t-equiv. by 2030. Only a small element of this can be achieved by phasing out peat extraction and the horticultural use of peat. In relation to the larger share, the rewetting and restoration of around 150,000 hectares of agricultural and forestry land is a major challenge, if this goal is to be achieved by 2030. Given the long-winded nature of the planning processes and the acquisition of permission to initiate procedures as well as technical implementation, these projects would need to be started immediately.
Mitsuru Osaki, Hokkaido University, Japan: When evaluating natural capital in the eco-management of tropical peatland, climate change and land use change, water and carbon loss have to be taken into consideration. Informatics based on the Equator Observation System (iEOS) shows carbon positive, carbon neutral and carbon negative management options.
Florian Siegert, Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH, Germany: Peatlands are found on 3% of the Earth’s land surface but store nearly 30% of terrestrial carbon. Peatlands in the tropics are under extreme pressure due to agricultural expansion, logging and uncontrolled wildfires. Emissions from peat degradation and combustion account for almost 10% of all global GHG emissions. To preserve still pristine peatlands and to restore degraded peatlands to reduce GHG emissions, accurate and timely spatial information is needed. Earth observation satellites provide excellent data for the global mapping and monitoring of these important wetland ecosystems and huge carbon stores.
Sebastian Birk, EU MERLIN Project, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany: Delivering on the high ambitions of climate change mitigation and adaptation, the restoration of European landscapes to a more natural state is key. The MERLIN project will mainstream the restoration activities of peatlands, wetlands, streams and rivers across Europe. This offers huge potential for carbon storage, as well as attenuating future floods and droughts.
About the IPS
The International Peatland Society (IPS) is an organisation of individual, corporate and institutional members dedicated to the responsible management and wise use of peatlands and peat. Currently the IPS has around 1400 individual and student members, as well as 200 corporate and institutional members from 33 countries.
These include 16 national committees and three commissions, plus numerous expert groups involved in different activities related to peat and peatlands, mires, bogs, fens and tropical peat swamp forests. We serve all those involved in peatlands and peat through the promotion, gathering, exchange and communication of knowledge and experience, by means of events, publications and projects which address key issues.
For more information and to join as a member, please visit: www.peatlands.org