The Source, Annual Review 2020


Our goal is to scale up the conservation and restoration of peatlands as a contribution to biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable development. For this, it is vital to ensure that all remaining undrained peatlands stay intact, while 50 million hectares of drained peatlands are restored by 2050.


Peatlands Healthy wetlands

management trialled successfully in 56 ha of peatbogs and a further 130 ha was restored.

Reduced climate risks

By 2030, we aim to safeguard over 20 million hectares of high value peatlands, including bringing 5 major peatland landscapes back into good ecological condition.

In Europe we were successful in getting peatland protection and restoration included as a valuable measure in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and “paludiculture” as a land-use that is eligible for CAP payments. This expands the economic basis for peat-wise land management. Converting damaging palm oil plantations to sustainable business models relies on peat- wise crops, and for this we took steps forward under the Tropical Paludiculture Forum as part of our Indonesian Peat Care Village Programme (with KMITRAAN/ BRG-REF). Unfortunately, we were unable to make much progress on the RSPO drainability assessment due to Covid-19 restrictions which prevented in-person consultations.

In Russia, we started Phase 3 of the award- winning “PeatRus” project which will expand wetland restoration to 11 regions in the coming 3 years. By the end of 2020, fire risk was reduced in 95,000 ha, climate-smart rewetting completed on 65,000 ha and ecosystem functions restored on 22,000 ha of peatlands. Once completed, the estimated GHG emission reductions are 324,000 to 650,000 tonnes CO2eq per year. Knowledge from this work has been incorporated in the Russian Federation’s Nationally Determined contribution (NDC) as reported to the UNFCCC. In Eastern Africa, inventory work completed in the Nile Equatorial Lakes, the Sudd and the Blue Nile sub-systems showed the total area of peatlands and other organic soils in the Nile Basin amounts to about 30,445 km2 (3,044,500 ha) with a peat carbon stock of 4.2 to 10 giga-tonnes of organic carbon. As this represents 5-10% of the total tropical peatland carbon stock, it shows the potential for carbon emission avoidance for the countries concerned. In Indonesia, we supported the government’s Peat Restoration Agency to complete peatland ecosystem restoration plans in another 4 hydrological units to reach 14 units overall. We supported the Verra- accredited carbon accounting, project management and monitoring of the largest REDD+ tropical peatland restoration project (Katingan Mentaya), totalling 149,880 ha of intact peatswamp forest, combined with the sustainable management of 156,00 ha in the mixed-use community buffer zone with our long-standing partner Permian Global.


Resilient wetland communities

As a member of the NDC partnership, we launched a policy brief Locking-up Carbon in Wetlands with AGWA at Stockholm Water Week. The brief showcases the importance of reducing carbon emissions from wetlands and has stimulated governments to consider seriously including wetlands as components of their NDCs under the UNFCCC. In Indonesia, we set up 3 successful peat- wise local business models which are now being rolled out on a national scale by the government. Further, in the district of Tapanuli Selatan, we restored 51 ha of peatlands and built strengthened communities through the establishment of Bio-rights contracts with 15 community-based organisations. This included trainings on Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR), in this case prevention of peat fires, sustainable peat management and the diversification of livelihoods.

By 2030, we will reduce the impact of peat-based industries in 10 million hectares of peatland, with a focus on palm oil, pulp and timber.

By 2030, we aim to enable community-

based conservation and restoration of 10 million hectares of peatlands.

Work on high altitude peatlands or bofedales in the High Andes resulted in improved



Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

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