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Peatland Conservation and Wise Use in the Context of Climate Change - A Contribution to the Implementation of the Ramsar Convention
11.09.2016 - 14.09.2016
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
Bettina Hedden-Dunkhorst, Angelina Heidrich (BfN)
Peatlands cover 3% of the global terrestrial area, or about one third of global wetland areas, and fulfil a number of ecosystem services important for life on earth and human well-being. Apart from storage and purification of fresh water, biodiversity conservation or the reduction of flood risks, these services comprise mitigation and adaptation to climate change impacts through carbon storage or by providing important climate smart livelihood options. Peatlands store as much carbon as all terrestrial biomass or twice as much as all global forest biomass. However, with carbon dioxide emissions from peatland drainage, fires and exploitation - estimated to be equivalent to more than 10% of global fossil fuel emissions in some years - the degradation of peatlands is also a major and growing source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. At the last Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, held in Punta del Este in 2015 Contracting Parties discussed the importance of peatlands and adopted Resolution XII.11 on “peatlands, climate change and wise use”. The Resolution highlights action to be taken and encourages Contracting Parties to foster implementation aiming to maintain peatland ecosystem services for future generations. It builds on Resolution VIII.17 (2002) “Guidelines for Global Action on Peatlands” that provide guidance in seven domains, including policy and legislative instruments, adaptive management, international cooperation etc. In order to review progress and contribute to implementation of Resolution XII.11 an international works