HOSTS: Global Peatlands Initiative with UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
From controlling water quality and mitigating floods to providing livelihoods and protecting rare and endemic biodiversity, the role that peatlands play in maintaining the planet’s health is immense. Yet, despite storing close to 30 percent of the world’s soil carbon and providing a multitude of services to both people and wildlife, these vital, superpowered ecosystems remain overlooked and underfunded by restoration initiatives worldwide.
Current estimates indicate that 15 percent of the world’s peatlands have now been drained, and that these ecosystems, although occupying only 0.4 percent of the total global land surface, are responsible for roughly 5.6 percent of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
Drawing on case studies from across the globe, this session makes clear the necessity of peatlands for biodiversity, climate, livelihoods and health, and highlights why stronger collaboration and investment in their restoration going forwards is a must for planetary health.