Positioning peatlands at heart of climate change debate

Peatlands provide a nature-based solution to climate change (Emma Goodyer - IUCN UK).


Researchers from SRUC have been offered a unique opportunity to position peatlands as a nature-based solution to climate change at the COP26.

Peatlands store more than twice as much carbon as the world’s forests, but many are damaged and emitting greenhouse gases.

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference will see country delegations, negotiators, policy makers and business leaders gather in Glasgow from 31 October to tackle the issue of climate change.

SRUC - together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Wetlands International, University of East London (UEL), Greifswald Mire Centre (GMC), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme -­ will co-host a Peatland Pavilion to highlight the importance of peatlands as major global stores of soil carbon but also, in their damaged state, as large sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

The pavilion will hold more than 50 sessions over 12 days to explore themes such as adaptation and resilience, nature, policy, and mobilising finance.

Mark Reed, Professor of Rural Entrepreneurship at SRUC and co-chair of the UNEP Global Peatlands Initiative Research Working Group, will lead a session looking at options for blending private finance with public funding for peatland restoration on Thursday 4 November.

On 5 November, he will speak at a session entitled ‘Connecting Peatland Research‘, together with the UNEP Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI) and international Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) - which is being launched by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office at COP26, to discuss how peatland researchers can drive transformational change.

He will also speak at a session on 9 November showcasing advances in monitoring peatlands and methods for standardising data collection and reporting for tropical and temperate peatlands, and will talk about the research underpinning the England Peatland Strategy in a session co-ordinated by Defra on 10 November.

Meanwhile, a session on November 4 involving SRUC’s Dr Klaus Glenk, who leads the Sustainable Ecosystems Team, and UNEP's Chief Economist Pushpam Kumar, will present new evidence which emphasises the importance of acting now to gain economic benefits from peatland restoration.

The Peatland Pavilion will be held in the blue zone at COP26, where each country or territory can showcase what they are doing on climate change.

For more information, visit the Global Peatlands website.

Posted by SRUC on 26/10/2021

Tags: Climate and Environment
Categories: Sustainability