Peatlands across the world are an essential ally when it comes to climate protection, acting as a carbon sink and stabilising our global climate. They are powerful nature-based solutions providing multiple ecosystem services: as biodiversity hotspots, for water regulation, as flood and drought prevention and as lifelines for local communities. However, peatlands around the world are being lost at an alarming rate – through clearing, deforestation, slash-and-burn agriculture, oil extraction, mining, and drainage.
Unfortunately, the solutions offered to protect and restore peatlands remain inadequate. Worldwide and until 2050, around 2 million hectares of drained peatlands will have to be re-wetted annually to meet the Paris Agreement’s targets. A transformative shift is therefore necessary. Decision-makers urgently need to make decisive and concrete commitments to this change.
The Peatland Atlas 2023 highlights background information from different regions and provides options on how decision-makers and society can act now. The publication by the Michael Succow Stiftung, partner of the Greifswald Mire Centre (a Wetlands International Europe member), BUND – Friends of the Earth Germany and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, in cooperation with the Global Peatland Initiative, is going to contribute to a broad social debate on challenges and potentials of peatland conservation, restoration, and sustainable use in Europe and globally.
What are the drivers of worldwide peatland losses? What are drained peatlands used for? What are the local and global impacts of peatland destruction? What policy measures are necessary to protect peatlands? These are the questions we will discuss with our guests from science, politics, and civil society.
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Presentation of the Peatland Atlas 2023 by Inka Dewitz, Senior Programme Officer, International Agricultural Policy Division, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Berlin, and Jan Peters, Managing Director, Michael Succow Stiftung
Video statements by international peatland activists and local/indigenous communities
Panel discussion with:
- Dianna Kopansky, Global Peatland Coordinator, United Nations Environment Programme (confirmed)
- Jutta Paulus MEP, Greens/EFA (confirmed)
- Hans Joosten, Secretary-General, Greifswald Mire Centre (confirmed)
- Chris Baker, Director, Wetlands International Europe
- Representative of a farmers’ union (tbc)
The event is taking place the day before the European Peatland Conference on 19-21 September. More information about that event and how to register here.