Soft launching of the interim secretariat of the International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC)
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Soft launching of the interim secretariat of the International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC)

Soft launching of the interim secretariat of the International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC)

On October 30 —at the conclusion of a working week of South South Cooperation in Indonesia— representatives of Governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Congo (ROC), and Republic of Indonesia met in Jakarta for the soft launching event of the International Tropical Peatland Center. 

An interim secretariat will be hosted by Indonesia and assisted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), UN Environment, FAO and other Global Peatlands Initiative partners. Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Republic of Congo’s Environment and Tourism Minister, Arlette Soudan-Nonault, and the Director General of Forests for the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Jose Ilanga Lofonga, launched the interim secretariat ahead of the formation of the center itself within one year.

The launch event was attended by more than 400 people, including representatives of government agencies, international organizations, universities and research centers, the private sector, civil society, funding partners and practitioners

Left: The soft launch of the International Tropical Peatland Secretariat in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta.
Right: The Republic of Congo’s Tourism and Environment Minister, Arlette Soudan-Nonault, Dr. Agus Justianto, Director General of Research, Development and Innovation Agency. Acting Director General of Climate Change. Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and delegates open the interim Secretariat of the International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC) in Bogor, West Java.
Photos by Ricky Martin/CIFOR

The International Topical Peatland Center (ITPC) will serve as a hub to connect different researchers, practitioners and stakeholders to support international collaboration and exchanges on research including on collecting and sharing best practices for tropical peatland management with a strong link to South South Cooperation. The Center will be a place where international experts can come together to discuss and also be a place where international experts can come together to discuss and disseminate their scientific research findings and eventually become a center of excellence for tropical peatland research linked to policy development and providing capacity building support to partners.

In the first year, the center plans to consult all stakeholders to map challenges and opportunities, contributions and commitments and the establishment of the secretariat in Bogor, Indonesia. In 2019, the center will also begin research on broad aspects of peatland management and establishing demonstration plots in Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Peru.

The three countries, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo – all home to extensive areas of tropical peatland – comprise the founding member states of the center, which is expected to become a holistic platform for peatland science and practice. United by the Global Peatlands Initiative, it marks a signficant step forward for peatlands as the four partner countries from the global south have banded together to protect these pivotal yet under appreciated ecosystems. When managed sustainably, tropical peatlands offer not only substantial environmental gains, but also potential livelihood benefits to those living on and around them.

The Center’s launch is a trailblazing step towards the Global Peatlands Initiative’s aim to bridge the gap between science and policy, for peatlands management, protection and restoration.

Read the full coverage of the event from UN Environment, Forest News and on the CIFOR website .

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