International Peat Society

Global Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management Launched

Lehdistötiedote   •   Helmi 09, 2011 12:53 EET

PRESS RELEASE

9 February 2011

Global Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management Launched

Keywords: mires, peatlands, bogs, fens, swamps, management, conservation, peat, turf, torf, turve, moor, suo,  certification, growing media, energy, palm oil, tropical, restoration, rehabilitation, sustainability, wise use

The International Peat Society (IPS) is launching a ‘Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management’, which for the first time defines objectives and actions for the conservation, management and rehabilitation of mires and peatlands globally, based on the principles of Wise Use.

According to the Strategy, peatland management includes organising, controlling, regulating and utilising peatland and peat for specific purposes, which should be appropriate to the peatland type and use while respecting cultural, environmental, and socio-economic conditions.

Donal Clarke, President of the IPS, explains: “The Strategy is applicable to all types of peatland under every use – including non-use – and it is directed to everyone responsible for or involved in the management of peatlands, or in the peat supply chain.”

The Strategy was formulated during a two-year consultation and discussion process facilitated by IPS and involving a broad range of mire, peat and peatland stakeholders. These included scientific experts from a range of peatland interests, peatland managers, private sector companies and other environmental NGOs.

Conservation, Economic Use and Rehabilitation Combined

IPS President Donal Clarke emphasises that “the overall purpose of the Strategy is to improve standards and increase knowledge of responsible peatland management. The principal aims are, among others, to ensure that high conservation value peatlands are identified and cons­erved, utilised peatlands are managed responsibly and drained or otherwise degraded peatlands are rehabilitated to reinstate as many ecological and landscape functions as possible.”

In order to implement the Strategy, and thereby promote responsible peatland management, it is recommended priority is given to: biodiversity, hydrology and water regulation, climate and climate change processes, economic activities, after-use, rehabilitation and restoration, human and institutional capacity and information dissemination and engagement of local people and good governance.

For each of these priorities the Strategy sets out key objectives and specific actions.

400 Million Hectares of Peatlands on Earth

Globally, peatlands cover an area of 4 million square kilometres in 180 countries, which equals 3% of the Earth’s land surface. The majority of the global peatlands (3.4 mill km2) are still in a near natural condition, are valuable habitats for wildlife and biodiversity and many are managed as nature reserves.

The largest uses of peatlands has been for agriculture (300,000 km2), forestry (150,000 km2), growing media production (2,000 km2) and energy generation (2,000 km2), mostly in the northern hemisphere. Around 120,000 km2 have been drained in tropical regions for a variety of purposes, but especially for plantations of oil palm and paper pulp trees.

The Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management is available in English at http://www.peatsociety.org or can be ordered as printed copy from the IPS.

For more information please contact:

Mr Donal Clarke, President of the IPS, Ireland:
phone: +353 862 553 806

Ms Susann Warnecke, Communications Manager of the IPS: susann.warnecke@peatsociety.org,
phone: +358 14 3385 440.

The International Peat Society

The International Peat Society (IPS) is a non-governmental, non-profit multidisciplinary organisation of scientific, industrial and regulatory members. It aims at bringing people and organisations together to foster the advancement, exchange and communication of scientific, technical, cultural, social and economic knowledge of all aspects of peatlands and peat.

To achieve its goals, the IPS organises conferences, symposia and workshops, nationally, regionally and internationally, and publishes research results. The IPS has 1400 members in 29 countries, with National committees in 19 countries in Europe, North American and Asia. Its headquarters is located in Jyväskylä, Finland.