Peatlands – guidance for climate change mitigation through conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable use

Peatland drainage - mainly for agriculture, grazing and forestry - and peat fires are responsible for almost one quarter of carbon emissions from the land use sector. Peatlands and organic soils contain 30 percent of the world’s soil carbon but only cover 3 percent of the Earth’s land area. Peatlands provide many important ecosystem services, including water regulation, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration and storage. Through conservation, restoration and better management, organ ic soils and peatlands can make a substantial contribution to reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. This report provides information on management and finance options to achieve emissions reductions and enhance other vital ecosystem services from peatlands. A decision support tree guides users through potential options for the management of both cultivated and uncultivated peatlands. The report also summarizes the methodologies and data available for quantifying greenhouse gas emis sions from peatlands and organic soils. Practical approaches are presented concerning measuring, reporting and verification, and accounting of greenhouse gas emissions. Country-specific case studies illustrate the problems, solutions and opportunities associated with peatland management. This report is a handbook for policy-makers, technical audiences and others interested in peatlands. This is the second edition of the report, which was first published in May 2012. The second edition has new in formation concerning grazing on peatlands and updates related to the finance options as well as measuring, reporting and verifying emissions and emission reductions. The authors of the report welcome any feedback or input ( and hope that the information provided may support efforts to make a meaningful contribution to combat climate change through conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable use of peatland.
  • Authors: Joosten, H., Tapio-Biström, M.L., Tol, S.
  • Author Affiliation: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Subjects: peatlands, climate change, mitigation, conservation, sustainability, ecological restoration
  • Publication type: Book
  • Year: 2012
  • ISSN: 978-92-5-107302-5
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Founding member states
Republic of Indonesia Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of Peru
Coordinating partners
Ministry of Environment and Forestry Republic of Indonesia CIFOR UN Environment FAO