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Assessment on peatlands, biodiversity and climate change


This assessment was prepared through a review of scientific information on the nature and value of peatlands in relation to biodiversity and climate change, the impact of human activities and potential sustainable management options.

Peatlands are important natural ecosystems with high value for biodiversity conservation, climate regulation and human welfare. Peatlands are those wetland ecosystems characterized by the accumulation of organic matter (peat) derived from dead and decaying plant material under conditions of permanent water saturation. They cover over 4 million km2 worldwide, occur in over 180 countries and represent at least a third of the global wetland resource.

Inappropriate management is leading to large-scale degradation of peatlands with major environmental and social impacts. Rehabilitation and integrated management of peatlands can generate multiple benefits including poverty alleviation, combating land degradation, maintaining biodiversity, and mitigating climate change. Concerted action for the protection and wise use of peatlands should therefore be a global priority linking work at global, regional and local levels

This assessment was prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Wetlands International, through a review of scientific information on the nature and value of peatlands in relation to biodiversity and climate change, the impact of human activities and potential sustainable management options.

Download the executive summary here.

Download the full report here.

 

Image credit: Tom Gill/Flickr