02 Dec GLF Bonn Side Event: High level South South Cooperation in action – Protecting Tropical Peatlands Together – a Triple win for the Climate, People and the Planet
Peatlands are unique ecosystems that offer a triple win for the climate, people and the planet. Peatlands are enormous carbon sinks, they protect unique biodiversity, control water supply and quality, cool the atmosphere, prevent floods, and more, providing essential ecosystem services which people’s lives depend on. Despite their importance and the extent of the threats they face, tropical peatlands are one of the least understood and monitored ecosystems. As peatlands become more accessible through development and investments in largescale commodity production, their functions are put at risk.
The Global Peatlands Initiative held a dynamic high-level side event at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn on 1 December that highlighted the steps being taken by key peatland countries to tackle urgent challenges and imminent threats to peatlands. Moderated by Tim Christophersen of UN Environment, the session included panelists with a diversity of expertise in tropical peatlands:
- Siti Nurbaya, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia
- Ruth Irlen, Federal Ministry of the Environment, Germany
- Prof. Hans Joosten, Greifswald Mire Centre
- Francisco Rilla, Director of Science and Policy, Ramsar Convention
The session included knowledge sharing through diverse experiences and exchanges of ideas to help others leap forward for the sustainable management of peatlands and thus avoid disasters, learning from mistakes and approaches of the past.
The Global Peatlands Initiative partners shared progress, innovations, discoveries and the German Government announced their support of 2 million Euros through the International Climate Initiative for the UN Environment led Global Peatlands Initiative. The event was a celebration of the achievements so far such as the Brazzaville Declaration on Peatlands, partnership commitments, and the launch of the International Tropical Peatlands Center and to advance collaborative research on restoration, protection and sustainable use through innovations on paludiculture (wet agriculture) of tropical peatlands. Other participants and partners were also invited to share their experience and join in to support the efforts to strengthen and further establish the Center of Excellence through academic fellowships, innovative research collaboration, technology transfer and capacity building.
The first day of GLF Bonn also saw an important press conference of the new global peatland research initiative led by the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, Siti Nurbaya (center in the image below); Assistant Secretary General, UN Environment, Satya Tripathi (left); and Director General, CIFOR, Robert Nasi (right). The press conference focused on the announcement of the new International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC), soft launched on 30 October, 2018, in Jakarta, Indonesia. Press on the image below to watch the full livestream recording of the press conference.