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Ensuring sustainable peatlands & mangroves in Indonesia

To counter the destruction of mangroves and unsustainable oil palm expansion in Indonesia’s peatlands, we work with the government to improve policies and spatial planning. We also engage with the palm oil industry to promote best management practices in peatlands and ensure the participation of local communities. At the field level, we work with local partners and communities to restore peatlands and mangroves, and improve the livelihoodsof people through Bio-rights micro-credit financing that promotes conservation.

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UN Climate Summit in Warsaw (11-22 November 2013)

The 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) is expected to make significant progress towards a new global climate agreement, aimed at increasing mitigation ambition before 2020 and putting in place a new global climate regime from 2020 onwards.

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UNFCCC Climate Talks in Bonn (June 2013)

Between the 3rd and the 14th of June, a new round of UNFCCC negotiations took place in Bonn, Germany. Wetlands International attended the session to advocate the importance of conserving and rehabilitating wetlands for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
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UN Climate Summit in Doha (26 Nov – 7 Dec 2012)

Read up on our work at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference held in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. You can download the Side Event presentations, flyers and programmes. 

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Global initiative on peatlands and climate change mitigation

Peatlands store vast amounts of carbon and are therefore critical ecosystems for climate regulation. However, when drained and degraded, peat soils release enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

In order to address the rapid destruction of this key ecosystem, Wetlands International and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have launched the global “Organic soils and peatlands climate change mitigation initiative” in May 2012. The Initiative is an informal network of organisations and people committed to reducing emissions from peatlands and safeguarding the other vital ecosystem services peatlands provide.

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Ramsar Conference, Bucharest

The Ramsar Conference (6 - 13 July 2012 in Bucharest, Romania) offered an opportunity to strengthen and extend the reach of the Convention to achieve improved wetland conservation and management. We attended the conference with a team of experts from our global network and engaged Contracting Parties and partners to achieve these objectives. 

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Restoring peatlands in Russia

Many peatlands in Russia were drained for agriculture, forestry and peat mining in the past and then left abandoned. Now they are subject to wind and water erosion, major fires and cause large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions. Given the significant economic, environmental and social impacts of these degraded peatlands, Wetlands International has recently initiated the restoration project of Russia's degraded peatlands.

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Reducing the impacts of oil sands mining

Canada's oil sands (also called tar sands) are one of the largest oil deposits on earth. Mining destroys the peat marshes covering these deposits, and alters the water flows within a much wider area. Oil sands oil is controversial due to these impacts and the fact that higher greenhouse gas emissions are produced from this form of extraction than from conventional sources of oil. Wetlands International is exploring activities with Shell to limit impacts and enable restoration once mining has ended. 

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Arctic wetlands: reducing the impact of the oil and gas sector

Wetlands are the dominant ecosystem in the onshore Arctic and provide valuable services to biodiversity and communities, both local and well beyond. Wetlands in the Arctic region are fragile and recovery from disturbance is slow. The impact of a new road in the permafrost marshes may impact a much wider area for decades to come. What's more: Arctic wetlands are not well defined or understood. Wetlands International works with partners such as Shell to better understand the functions and sensitivities of Arctic wetlands, in order to improve decision-making to minimise the impacts of the oil and gas sector on onshore and coastal wetlands.

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Peatlands in UN Climate policies

Since 2005 we have stressed the importance of preventing further carbon emissions from peat soils at the UN Climate Conference (UNFCCC). We aim to include carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the degradation and loss of peatlands in a new climate treaty that is currently under negotiation.

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Saving and restoring peat swamp areas

With years of scientific research and extensive demonstration projects, carried out in Argentina to Siberia and Southeast Asia, we have built up an extensive expertise in peatland restoration. We now use our knowledge to promote and implement large-scale projects to save and rehabilitate peatlands.

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UNFCCC Climate Meeting in Durban (28 Nov - 12 Dec 2011)

Wetlands International participated at the 2011 climate summit in Durban, South Africa. The overall steps taken by the 194 governments are dangerously minimal. Regarding wetlands, we are content that wetland-carbon is finally recognised in different decisions. This may have a great impact for saving carbon rich wetlands (see final press release).

 

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Improving biofuels policy in Europe

With some clear successes, Wetlands International has been strongly involved in the EU Renewable Energy Directive. We are currently working closely with other NGOs to guide the implementation policies and limit the adverse land use impacts of biofuels demand.

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UNFCCC Climate Talks in Bonn (June 2011)

New sessions were held in Bonn, Germany on June 6-17 at the UNFCCC Climate Talks series, continuing the work from the agreements made in Cancun, Mexico in 2010. Through our active participation at the meeting and two side events, we promoted the conservation and restoration of tropical and temperate peatlands for the critical role they play in regulating the climate.  Furthermore, at the subsequent Adaptation Fund Board meeting on June 19, the importance of Strategic Impact Assessments in board funded projects was highlighted.

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Ayer Hitam Peat Swamp Forest – The Last Black Jewel of West Johor

Ayer Hitam Peat Swamp Forest is the last remaining peatswamp forest in the state of Johor, Malaysia. Wetlands Inernational is working together with the State Government to protect and conserve the area.

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UNFCCC Climate Talks, Bonn (Aug 2010)

Wetlands International participated at the UNFCCC Bonn Climate Talks with a stand and side event. The talks were the thirteenth session of the AWG-KP and the eleventh session of the AWG-LCA, which took place from Monday 2 August to Friday, 6 August 2010 at the Hotel Maritim in Bonn.
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UNFCCC Climate Summit in Cancún (29 Nov.-10 Dec. 2010)

We advocated for solutions that will help to halt the loss of wetlands at the UN Climate conference in Cancún, Mexico (29 November – 11 December 2010) where Parties gathered to achieve next steps on the road to a new climate deal. We campaigned not only to ensure that peatland emissions will be addressed, but also to make sure that projects financed by the Adaptation Fund do not harm wetlands.

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UN Climate Talks in Barcelona (Nov. 2009)

Wetlands International was present at the UN Barcelona Climate Talks, held from 2 - 6 November 2009. A side event was held presenting the first ever peatland emission data per country.

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UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (UNFCCC COP15)

From 7-18 December 2009, the world leaders gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark trying to agree on a new climate deal that would come into force in 2012. Wetlands International was present with a team from different offices, aiming for strong incentives to protect and restore the world's wetlands. An adequate incorporation of wetlands into a post-2012 agreement would contribute to reducing emissions and increase the world's resilience to the impacts of climate change. 

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Poznan Climate Conference: Emissions from peatlands, a global issue

Wetlands International was present at the UN climate summit in Poznan (1-13 December 2008). Our organisation focuses on advocating the inclusion of emissions from degradation and loss of peatswamps in a new climate treaty.

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An Action Plan for the Peatlands within the Heart of Borneo (HOB) area in the context of rehabilitating degraded peatlands and reducing CO2 emissions

The project developed a plan for hydrological, restoration of degraded peatlands in Brunei within the Heart of Borneo initiative. It also addressed the regional cooperation and mutual partnerships between the three HOB countries, built capacity in relevant government constitution and built awareness at high levels of government to promote adoption of rehabilitation measures for preventing carbon emissions, fires and haze and have a positive impact on climate both regionally and globally.

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Side event on Peatlands and Climate Change

Stakeholders Outreach on Unsustainable Use of the Peatlands and Climate Change

Wetlands International in Malaysia held at the side event of the Regional Climate Change Conference organised by the Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources & The British High Commission. The side-event brought stakeholders in Malaysia together to share their views on climate change and the environment, especially the peatlands.

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Status of peatland in Malaysia: Its relation to CO2 emissions and climate change

There are increasing pressures on peatland areas for conversion, especially for conversion to oil palm plantations, anticipating the increased demand for oil palm as a biofuel. This will result in substantially increased CO2 emissions from converted peatlands, increased incidence of fire and increased periods of “haze". Of particular concern is the potential for oil palm plantations to expand into High Conservation Value peat swamp forest (HCVPSF). This project aimed at gathering and disseminating relevant information on these threats.

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Ecological Character Description for Great Sandy Straits Ramsar Site, Queensland

The project required preparation of a comprehensive description of the ecological character of the Great Sandy Straits Ramsar site, south-east Queensland, using a recently-finalised national framework; also updating of the Ramsar Information Sheet and digital boundary map for the site.

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Conservation of the Ruoergai Plateau marshes and Altai Mountain wetlands

In the Ruoergai Marshes on the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau and the Altai Mountains in Northwest China, we demonstrated practical ways in which biodiversity conservation and provision of ecosystem services can be supported by different economic sectors and local communities.

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Promotion of wetland biodiversity conservation in the Moscow region of the Russian Federation through the development of a Regional Strategy and Action Plan for Wetlands Wise Use

The objective is to support the sustainable use of water resources in the Moscow Region by establishing the technical, legal and social conditions for the implementation of an integrated approach to land-use planning based on wetland wise use.

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Sharing experiences for improved peatland management planning and practice in South-east Asia

The project aimed to enhance the awareness levels of key stakeholder groups on peatland issues and to provide possible solutions. This was done through the first pilot project in Malaysia for peatland restoration using an integrated approach of conservation, restoration and development.

 

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Conservation Experiences with Peat Swamp Forests

The primary objective of this project was to develop and implement plans and to encourage processes that will ensure the conservation and sustainable use of globally significant genetic, species and ecosystem diversity within tropical peat swamp forests (PSFs) in Malaysia.

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Training on peat for Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) staff

This project aimed to develop and implement a national training programme on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of wetlands ecosystems, with particular emphasis on peat swamp forest management.

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Peatland conservation in the Berbak-Sembilang National Park, Indonesia

In the Berbak-Sembilang national park on Sumatera, Indonesia we worked with communities on finding a sustainable balance between the activities of people and the fragile peatland ecosystem they depend on. The area is a vulnerable area of tropical peatland forests and threatened by logging and unsustainable agriculture.

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Poverty and conservation of Peatswamps at Phru Toh Daeng, Thailand

This project helped to build local awareness and capacity for conservation in order to secure a sustainable future for the Phru Toh Daeng Peat swamp forest.

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Study on mires in the Baltic ecoregion

The aim of this project was to provide background information for conserving biodiversity and freshwater quality in the Baltic ecoregion.

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Conservation of peatlands of Central Russia

The aim of this project was to demonstrate implementation of the ‘wise use’ approach for peatland ecosystems in Central and European Russia.

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Quick scan of peatlands in Central and Eastern Europe

This quick scan of peatlands in Central and Eastern Europe provides a background for the development of a strategy for conservation.

 

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Himalaya project (HimalWet)

This project aimed to develop an information base for wise use of Himalayan high altitude wetlands through integrated water resource management. An inventory of high altitude wetlands based on remote sensing data was developed together with a system of vulnerability assessment mapping. Based on these, a concept for an integrated management strategy for the region was also developed.

This project was carried out in Nepal, India, China and Bhutan through our offices in India and China.

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Peat, biodiversity and climate change

This project assessed the capacity of peatlands to store carbon. It also provided recommendations on how peatlands could be managed to ensure their capacity to store carbon is maintained and even improved while, at the same time, conserving and restoring biodiversity values.

Storing carbon is crucial for preventing carbon dioxide emissions and therefore preventing further climate change. If the carbon of the world's peatlands is released, the level of carbon in the atmosphere will rise with 75%.


This project was implemented in China, Indonesia and the Russian Federation, together with our offices in those countries.

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UNFCCC Conference in Nairobi (Dec. 2006)

 

At the UN Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC)  in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2006, Wetlands International presented the outcomes of its study PEAT-CO2 which was jointly developed with WL/Delft Hydraulics and Alterra.
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Wetlands and Poverty Reduction

This programme aimed to improve policies so that they include the role of wetlands for poverty reduction; especially in developing countries.

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Inventario de los Turbales de la Patagonia

Este proyecto, terminado en el año 2004, fue el fruto de los esfuerzos mancomunados de un numeroso equipo interdisciplinario coordinado por Wetlands International y del cual participaron organismos de gobierno y el sector académico de Argentina y Chile.

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Taller para el Uso Racional de las Turberas

En abril de 2008 se llevó a cabo en la ciudad de Ushuaia, un taller multisectorial para la elaboración de una estrategia para el uso racional de las turberas de Tierra del Fuego, con el apoyo del Programa de Humedales y Pobreza de Wetlands International

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