Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI)
The Global Peatlands Initiative is an effort by leading experts and institutions formed by 13 founding members at the UNFCCC COP in Marrakech, Morocco in 2016 to save peatlands as the world’s largest terrestrial organic carbon stock and to prevent it being emitted into the atmosphere. The current greenhouse gas emissions from drained or burned peatlands are estimated to amount up to five percent of the global carbon budget — in the range of two billion tonnes CO2 per year.
Partners to the Initiative are working together within their respective areas of expertise to improve the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of peatlands. In this way the Initiative is contributing to several Sustainable Development Goals, including by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, maintaining ecosystem services and securing lives and livelihoods through improved adaptive capacity.
One of the first outputs of the Global Peatlands Initiative will be an assessment, which will focus on the status of peatlands and their importance in the global carbon cycle. It will also examine the importance of peatlands for national economies.
Being hosted under the UN Environment umbrella, the Global Peatlands Initiative developed as an active IFSA partner since 2019, when IFSA formally became a member of GPI, resulting in one of IFSA’s newest partnerships. Thanks to collaboration opportunities offered to IFSA students, such as internship positions, participation in GPI workshops, and invitations to GPI and partner conferences, the partnership is growing steadily.
The year 2020 will serve as a benchmark, with several partnership projects in the pipeline, including a peatland monitoring and conservation workshop, research collaboration and a conference invitation. On the other hand, IFSA will feature peatlands as one of our main topics in the IUCN workshop on Ecosystem Restoration.
Meet the Head of Commission
Konstantin Schwarz is the Head of UN Environment Sub-Commission and also manages the partnership with GPI