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Smoke on Water - Countering Global Threats from Peatland Loss and Degradation

In order to support the Global Peatlands Initiative in its initial work, GRID-Arendal has carried out a peer-reviewed rapid response assessment for peatlands based on existing data and information, including data made available by the Global Peatlands Initiative partners.

This rapid assessment looks at peatland location and extent, threats affecting peatlands and permafrost lands, what policies are in place to manage and protect them and how effective they are, and what the future may look like. 

 

Key messages:

  • Peatlands are the world’s largest terrestrial organic carbon stock, storing twice as much carbon as forests.
  • Peatlands are under imminent and existential threat from agricultural expansion and development and, once dried, from uncontrollable wild fires.
  • Restoration of peatlands is ongoing in Indonesia - a critical action by the government and people, aiming to halt green house gas emissions and prevent further fires.

 

 

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United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
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15 November 2017

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