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The Global Peatlands Initiative: Assessing, Measuring and Preserving Peat Carbon

As of: October 2021

Although peatlands cover only three percent of the global landmass, it stores almost 30 percent of soil-sequestered carbon—roughly double the amount stored by forests worldwide. Yet, they are increasingly threatened by exploitation. The Global Peatlands Initiative aims to analyse the state of peatlands worldwide and the role they play in the global carbon cycle. The project will improve and support access to the current body of knowledge while creating a hotspot atlas and a platform on peatland degradation. In this way, the Global Peatlands Initiative will build stakeholder capacity in terms of resources and know-how, so as to improve the conservation and sustainable use of peatlands. Gaps will be identified in global and national strategies, and project partners will develop strategies and approaches to counter peatland losses more effectively. The project also facilitates networking among researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders. All members of the initiative have committed to local knowledge transfer and capacity building.

State of implementation/results

  • A High-level Global Peatlands Initiative partners meeting was held in Brazzaville from the 21.–23.03.2018. During the meeting, the environment ministers of the DR Congo, the Republic of Congo and Indonesia signed the "Brazzaville Declaration", which inter alia, provides for close cooperation in the protection of peatlands in the three countries.
  • The BMU's support for the "Global Peatlands Initiative - GPI" project was officially announced at a high-level event at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn, with the participation of Indonesia’s minister for the Environment (Siti Nurbaya Bakar).
  • In March 2020 the peatlands mapping and monitoring workshop was held including the launching of the publication “Peatland mapping and monitoring: recommendations and technical overview”.
  • Online seminars were held in May 2020 on the project’s scope and the state of knowledge on mapping, challenges and opportunities for peatland management in Peru.
  • In July 2020 an online seminar was held with Chile on: “Protection and sustainable use of peatlands as nature-based solutions to climate change: international experiences” to launch national roadmap for management of peatlands and activate GPI partner support.
  • A GLF conference session with the International Tropical Peatlands Centre was co-hosted to inform stakeholders on why peatlands matter for food security with Vice Ministers of Peru and Indonesia, Director General Republic of Congo, Head of Democratic Republic of Congo Peatlands Unit. Scientists and communities shared knowledge and experience.
  • GPI held an online seminar in September 2020 on “Canada’s Peatlands: Towards a national assessment to foster collaboration and create/strengthen a network of peatland experts in Canada”.
  • UNEP, Newcastle University and International Tropical Peatlands Centre established a GPI (Tropical) Peatlands Research Working Group co-chaired by Mark Reed and Dianna Kopansky to foster collaboration on core outcome sets and joint research funding proposals and training.
  • GPI supports Chile to implement the national roadmap for the conservation & sustainable management of peatlands and linked to the inclusion of peatlands in Chile’s NDC.
  • On March 8th 2021, the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted its first ever resolution on Peatlands giving the conservation and restoration of degraded peatlands a boost (…).
  • The GPI publication titled Smoke on Water Rapid Response Assessment – Countering global threats from peatlands loss and degradation (…) contains vital information on peatland location, extent, threats and the policies to manage and protect them.
  • The Wild for Life and GPI teams at UNEP, launched the ‘Global Peatlands Initiative/Wild for Life's next immersive journey to the Peatlands - an epic, nature-based solution’, on October 1st, 2020 (…).

Project data

Congo, Indonesia, Peru, The Democratic Republic of Congo

Implementing organisation:
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) - Kenya

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Environment (MINAM) - Peru
  • Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) - Indonesia
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development - DR Congo
  • Ministry of Tourism and Environment - Republic Congo
  • Peat Restoration Agency (Badan Restorasi Gambut - BRG) - Indonesia
  • Peruvian Trust Fund for National Parks and Protected Areas (PROFONANPE)

Implementing partner(s):
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

BMU grant:
1.999.567,00 €

02/2018  till  06/2023


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