Peatlands and mangroves are two unique ecosystems with effective roles as carbon storage and sink, and highly potential for mitigating climate change and maintaining water quality when sustainably managed and protected. These two ecosystems provide a wide range of services that support the livelihoods of communities while also regulate biophysical processes that protect the ecosystems and the inlands from natural disasters.
Despite their importance for environmental services and economic sources, peatlands and mangroves are among the most vulnerable ecosystems. They are under serious threat due to increasing demand of lands, food, fiber and charcoal. Drainage of peatlands will affect ecosystem quality including biodiversity loss and will rise the greenhouse gas emissions and the conversion of mangroves has resulted in the large-scale greenhouse gas emissions and a severe loss of mangrove biodiversity.
When peatlands and mangroves are sustainably managed, these climate threats and risks can be reduced. Sustainable management of peatlands and mangroves could also enhance carbon storage capacity in degraded sites and improve socio-economic livelihoods for ecosystem-dependent communities and prevent biodiversity loss.
At the the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme, held recently in Nairobi on 11-15 March 2019, these two types of ecosystems have gained significant attention. The event adopted two important resolutions on peatlands and mangroves: ‘conservation and sustainable management of peatlands’ and ‘sustainable management for global health of mangroves’.
Indonesia hosts the International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC), that serve as a hub and a center of excellence for tropical peatland research to support policy development and provide capacity building and technical services. The center that was jointly established by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, and Republic of Indonesia in 2018 also carry out and disseminate scientific research on tropical peatland.
To provide a platform for exchanges of information on experiences and best practices of peatlands and mangroves management in different countries and forward actions, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia is organizing a side event with the title ‘Collaborative Actions Towards Sustainable Management of Peatlands and Mangrove Ecosystems’. Knowledge generated from the discussion would be useful inputs and support policy development to the conservation and sustainable management strategies on peatlands and mangroves in the future.
- Haruni Krisnawati – email@example.com