Robert Nasi, Director General, Center for International Forestry Research at Global Landscapes Forum, Bonn, Germany.
Photo: © Pilar Valbuena/GLF

12.12.2018

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The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) highlighted the significance of peatlands in achieving international climate goals and called for international support to step up peatland restoration.

The significance of peatlands in achieving international climate goals was highlighted at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) summit in Bonn, Germany, early in December 2018. Although they cover just three per cent of the Earth’s land mass, peatlands store 30 per cent of global soil carbon – twice as much as all global forest biomass does, and roughly equalling the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Ecosystem services that they provide include water purification, flood control and habitats for a wide range of animals and plants. Peat has also been used as fuel for thousands of years.

The chief threat facing peatlands is drainage for agricultural land. Once they are drained, oxygen enters the peat, and it begins to rot, emitting huge amounts of carbon and nitro-gen. Drained peatlands are also highly prone to fire. Today, damaged peatland accounts for almost six per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

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