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

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.

Project data

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Indonesia, Peru
IKI funding
1,999,567.00 €
02/2018 till 12/2023
Implementing organisation
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) - Kenya
Political Partner
  • 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
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

State of implementation/results

  • Updated Global Peatlands Initiative website including partners platform, virtual pavilion and projects tab launched and regularly updated (
  • On 17.11.2022, at the UNFCCC COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), the “Global Peatlands Assessment – The State of the World’s Peatlands: Evidence for action toward the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of peatlands” report was launched.
  • Launch of “The Forests of the Congo Basin: State of the Forests 2021” (…) book chapter “Peatlands of the central basin of the Congo Basin: Realities and perspectives” (…) at CBFP event in Gabon providing an overview of the state of knowledge on the Congo Basin peatlands and identifying further research needs and policy gaps.
  • The Projects South-South Collaboration is featured as a 2022 global best practice, highlighted on the UN Office for South-South Cooperation's South-South Galaxy Platform ( for the month of April promoting and sharing the projects work to advance SDG 13: Climate Action (…).
  • On 31.08.2022 the Project shared the state of knowledge of Congo Peatlands values including climate and biodiversity values at the Valuing Wetlands as Water, Nature and Climate Solutions for World Water Week (…).
  • On 07.07.2022 “Criteria and Indicators for Tropical Peatland Restoration: Exploring Holistic and Practical Approaches for Monitoring Tropical Peatlands” national workshop was co-organized by UNEP, CIFOR, ITPC and USAID to share practitioner’s manual on peatland restoration monitoring using C&I approaches to work together towards effective peatland restoration.
  • Under the G20 EDM-CSWG, the Project supported Indonesia to organize a series of workshops to advance collaboration across the G20 countries to raise the importance of peatlands to support rapid climate and nature action and for the well-being of people. The workshops were held on 10.06.2022 and 19.06.2022.
  • The Project (02.06.2022) supported the establishment of a movement of local people and artists to establish the Venice Agreement on Peatlands (…) signed at the Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol Chilean Pavilion during La Biennale di Venezia.
  • On 10.05.0222 the Global Peatlands Initiative presented at the Group for Earth Observations (GEO) Wetlands Initiative Ideation Workshop. The workshop explored opportunities to revive the GEO Wetlands Initiative with respect to the GEO Work Programme 2023-2025.-- On 07.04 and 12.05.2022 the FAO, under the Global Peatlands Initiative, held sessions on peatlands mapping and monitoring workshops in Peru to discuss key considerations for the elaboration of peatlands maps. On 13.07.2022, the “Monitoring peatlands: a general overview” training session clarified key parameters for monitoring different types of peatlands and provide an overview of peatland monitoring opportunities.
  • On 28.04.2022 the Global Peatlands Initiative gave a keynote speech at the Care Peat Conference. Discussions focused on knowledge and science on peatlands, policy, management and restoration perspectives.
  • The report titled ‘Economics of Peatlands Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Management’ was launched as part of the Global Peatlands Initiative’s contribution to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (…).
  • The two technical reports ‘Needs and knowledge gaps on peatlands for climate action. Global survey results May 2020 – March 2021’ and ‘Perú y las turberas: Necesidades y brechas de conocimiento. Resultados de la encuesta Mayo 2020 – Marzo 2021’ were published based on the Global Peatlands Initiative assessment of key stakeholders’ needs and gaps when it comes to knowledge and capacity development on peatland matters (… and…).
  • The ‘Global Peatland Map 2.0’, launched by the Global Peatlands Initiative partners at the Global Peatland Pavilion during UNFCCC COP26, improves the base knowledge on the location and extent of peatlands worldwide (…).
  • Establishment of the Virtual Peatlands Pavilion with content from more than 60 organisations (…).
  • Global Peatlands Pavilion at UNFCCC COP26: 45 sessions and networking events physically and online welcomed over 250 speakers with 2,700 people from 100 countries registered to the online platform. The Global Peatlands Initiative led and/or participated in 15 events at the pavilion and spoke at two events at the Indonesian pavilion (…).
  • Quarterly Global Peatlands Initiative newsletters.
  • The Global Peatlands Initiative is working with partners to raise awareness of the importance of peatlands restoration and conservation – targeting Europe with Eurosite and the Peatlands Restoration Working Group and joining forces with IUCN UK PP for the ‘Peatlands are’ campaign and kicked off a relay of press releases across the world with North Pennines AONB – called the Global Peat Press Project ‘GP3’ Relay. Next will be the Global Peatlands Initiative / Eurosite social media campaign.
  • The Global Peatlands Initiative supported the Democratic Republic of Congo to include peatlands in their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and supports the implementation of a national peatlands strategy.
  • The Global Peatlands Initiative supports Peru for the inclusion of peatlands in their 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 Global Peatlands Initiative 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 the Global Peatlands Initiative launched the ‘Global Peatlands Initiative/Wild for Life's next immersive journey to the Peatlands - an epic, nature-based solution’, on October 1st, 2020 (…).
  • The Global Peatland Initiative 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’.
  • 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 the national roadmap for management of peatlands and activate Global Peatlands Initiative partner support.
  • 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.
  • A Global Landscapes Forum 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.
  • 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’ (…).
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Newcastle University and International Tropical Peatlands Centre established a Global Peatlands Initiative 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.
  • The Global Peatlands Initiative supports Chile to implement the national roadmap for the conservation and sustainable management of peatlands and linked to the inclusion of peatlands in Chile’s NDC.
  • 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 Democratic Republic of 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 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).

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