- include actions for avoiding peat emissions in post-Kyoto climate mitigation strategies and to
- add avoided emissions from peatlands in their decision to support avoided deforestation.
This would mean a major step in managing the world’s peatlands and in avoiding huge carbon dioxide emissions from degraded peat. We also aimed for understanding of at the World Bank
dealing with the Forest Carbon Fund
The Bali Road Map
A small but promising step to address emissions from wetland degradation has been made.
'Carbon stocks' are explicitly mentioned in the approved decision on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD). Earlier drafts of the decision only mentioned deforestation.
The 'Bali action plan' - the main outcome of the Conference and a document that will be used to develop a post Kyoto climate treaty, puts the carbon dioxide emissions from ‘forest carbon stocks’ on the agenda.
Call for more priority for avoiding emissions from peat swamp forests
Both UNFCCC decisions pave the way to include the carbon rich wetland soils in actions to mitigate climate change, including carbon credits for halting further degradation. However, peat swamp forests contain carbon not only in the forest cover, but also and foremost in the peat soils; globally peatlands store twice the amount of carbon as the world's forests. Peat swamp forests should therefore constitute the most precious forest carbon stocks to protect and restore.
For reducing emissions from deforestation and enhancing forest carbon stocks, Wetlands International calls for prioritising the conservation of remaining peat swamp forests and the explicit inclusion of “further degradation of deforested peat swamps” in the definition of forest degradation under UNFCCC policies.
Emissions from deforested and non-forested peatlands still ignored
The UNFCCC decision on ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries’ as well as the Bali Roadmap only call for measures to protect forests and associated forest carbon stocks (like peat soils under forests). This decision thus excludes solutions for already deforested peatlands and degraded non-forest peatlands that currently contribute to global warming. Most organic carbon is however stored in non-forested peatlands like tundra in Canada and Russia or high altitude peatlands in the Himalayas and Andes. These areas are under threat, even by global warming itself.
Wetlands International calls upon the Contracting Parties of UNFCCC to also address formerly forested peatlands and non-forested peatlands to reduce carbon emissions and to conserve and enhance carbon stocks.