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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.

Action Description:


Some facts

Peatland degradation is responsible for 3000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (Mt/CO2) per year; around 10% of all reported emissions. Peatlands only cover 3% of the global surface but can be found all over the world. Although most emissions (2000 Mt/CO2) are currently concentrated in South-east Asia, another 1000 Mt/CO2 is emitted from peatlands in the other parts of the world.  Emissions from peatland loss are additional to emissions from loss of biomass including deforestation.
Peat carbon stocks amount to 550 gt, twice the amount stored in forests. The rapid and continuing loss of these ecosystems is therefore alarming.
Actions must be taken soon to tackle this major contributing factor to climate change -  peatlands need to be addressed in climate change mitigation strategies through a range  of mechanisms. Nothing is yet done under current climate policies to stop these emissions. 
Click here for a factbook about peatlands and their carbon dioxide emissions.

Our policy agenda

Wetlands International is advocating for addressing peatland loss in UNFCCC policies and invites you to visit us at our exhibit and at our side events to discuss the policy options within current discussions in the different commissions working under the Climate Convention:  SBSTA, AWG-KP and AWG-LCA*. Click here for our agenda. * SBSTA (Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice)


  • AWG-KP (The Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol l) and
  • AWG-LCA (The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action)

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