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 06/2024
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 (
  • Launch of the “Global Peatlands Assessment – The State of the World’s Peatlands: Evidence for action toward the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of peatlands”, at the UNFCCC COP27 in Sharm El Sheik (Egypt) (…).
  • Launch of new translated versions of the “Global Peatlands Assessment – Summary for Policy Makers” (English, Spanish and French versions).
  • Launch of the “Peatland Atlas 2023", produced by the Michael Succow Stiftung, partner of the Greifswald Mire Centre, BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, in cooperation with the Global Peatlands Initiative (…).
  • Launch of the “Investing in Peatlands” report, produced by the Landscape Finance Lab and other partner, in cooperation with the Global Peatlands Initiative, to highlight the importance of strategically investing in the conservation and restoration of peatlands, illuminating the wide-ranging positive impacts of such investments for climate, nature, local communities and investors (…).
  • Updated Global Peatlands Initiative YouTube Channel with updated training sessions from the Research Working Group and recordings from UNFCCC COP events, UNFCCC Regional Climate Weeks events, Convention on Wetlands COP events, among others (…).
  • 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 the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (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 Global Peatlands Initiative South-South Collaboration is featured as a 2022 global best practice, highlighted on the UN’s South-South Galaxy Platform, promoting and sharing the projects work to advance SDG 13: Climate Action (…).
  • Under the G20 Environment Deputies Meeting and Climate Sustainability Working Group (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 signing of the “Venice Agreement” and the establishment of a movement of diverse stakeholders, group of artists, indigenous peoples and local community members, to protect global peatlands locally at the Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol Chilean Pavilion during La Biennale di Venezia (…).
  • Throughout 2021 and 2022, the Project held 13 training sessions and workshops, organized by FAO, on peatlands mapping and monitoring in Spanish, French and English, for Peru, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of the Congo 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.
  • 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’ and ‘Perú y las turberas: Necesidades y brechas de conocimiento’ 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 (…) and launch of updated Virtual Peatland Pavilion for COP28 (…), a knowledge platform which hosts a wide range of digital peatlands content from Global Peatlands Initiative partners worldwide in order to offer visitors an interactive, immersive experience in a 3D virtual pavilion with nine thematic ‘floors’ of multi-media content.
  • 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 (…).
  • The Global Peatlands Initiative works 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 Peatland Programme for the ‘Peatlands are’ campaign and kicked off a relay of press releases across the world with North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – called the Global Peat Press Project ‘GP3’ Relay (…).
  • 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 (…).
  • 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’ (…).
  • The Global Peatlands Initiative Research Working Group was established in 2019, co-led by Dianna Kopansky from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Mark Reed from Scotland’s Rural College to build capacity among the peatland research community and identify international research funding opportunities for peatlands (…).
  • A High-level Global Peatlands Initiative partners meeting was held in Brazzaville in March 2018, where the Ministers of Environment from 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 BMUV'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 of Environment (Siti Nurbaya Bakar).

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