FAO, International Partners Launch Peat and Climate Change Mitigation Initiative
17 May 2012: Considering that peatlands drainage and peat fires contribute to almost a quarter of carbon emissions from the land use sector, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has worked with Wetlands International to develop an informal network of organizations committed to reducing emissions from peatlands.
The initiative, called the "Organic Soils and Peatlands Climate Change Mitigation Initiative," was launched on 17 May 2012, at the UNFCCC Climate Talks in Bonn, Germany. At the launch event, FAO released the initiative's first publication titled "Peatlands - Guidance for Climate Change Mitigation by Conservation, Rehabilitation and Sustainable Use." The publication is targeted at policy makers and technical audience and presents a decision support tree to consider opportunities in cultivated and uncultivated peatland. It also includes summaries of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions quantification methodologies. The publication outlines ten steps of strategic action on peatlands that includes: identifying the location and status of peatland worldwide; improving methodologies of measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) peatlands; preventing further degradation of peatlands; engaging in restoration; applying climate financing mechanisms to peatland activities; and sharing experience on peatland conservation, restoration and management.
Additional partners in the initiative include, the IUCN UK, the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Within the FAO, the initiative is being led by the Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture Programme (MICCA).