Wetlands International played a very active role in trying to influence the outcomes of the Bali Climate Conference (UN-FCCC COP 13). Our organisation was present with a professional team from various offices. This has led to some successes.
Our efforts were focused on addressing the issue of peatland loss. The enormous emissions of carbon dioxide from degraded peatlands have so far been ignored by international climate policy.
Most of our efforts were focused on the agenda item regarding the emissions from deforestation. We tried to include the carbon stocks of peatlands. This has been successfull; ' carbon stocks' are explicitely mentioned in the now approved decision on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries. This decision has been discussed for several years. Earlier drafts of this decision only mentioned deforestation.
Moreover, the crucial lines about conservation and restoration of carbon stocks are now also included in the ' Bali action plan'; the main document that will be used to develop a post Kyoto climate treaty.
Both decisions pave the way to include the carbon rich wetland soils in actions to mitigate climate change, including carbon credits for halting further degradation.
The Bali action plan lines about adaptation also provide, for the first time, a real clear step to address the importance of globally threatened wetland systems to mitigate the impact of extreme weather events (see our leaflet and paper about this issue).
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Communications and Advocacy Department
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