Wetlands are one of the fastest declining ecosystem types worldwide, while at the same time they are hot spot areas for biodiversity and for provision of ecosystem services; such as hydrological buffers against floods and droughts, facilitating climate change adaptation.
Although peatlands, a particular type of wetlands, only cover about 4 million km2, they store significant amounts of carbon. Peatland degradation is responsible for an estimated 5 per cent of global GHG emissions.
Information on the extent of wetlands, their ecological character and level of degradation is scattered, underestimated and difficult to find and access. To address the issue of the lack of data, the side event will present solutions for gathering information, e.g. provided by SWOS, the Satellite-based Wetland Observation Service. In regard to the need to improve the peatland management in order to reduce the GHG emissions, a new global Initiative of nine key organizations will be launched at the event. The participants have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion and share experiences on how peatlands can help countries in realizing their contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement.