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Conservation and Sustainable Management of Peatlands

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Mar 11, 2019
Fourth Session of the UN Environment Assembly
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Conservation and Sustainable Management of Peatlands.pdf

Conservation and sustainable management of peatlands*

The United Nations Environment Assembly,

Recalling the commitment made by heads of state and government in the outcome document agreement of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Conference) titled “The Future we want” that recognized ecosystem conservation, regeneration, and restoration and resilience as important in the face of new and emerging challenges,

Recognizing that peatlands occur in more than one hundred and eighty countries across different regions of the world, and the fact that although covering only about 3% of the earth’s land area, peatlands contain a far higher proportion of global organic soil carbon, making them one of the world’s largest carbon storage, and contributing to global climate change mitigation through sequestration of carbon,

Bis. Recognizing that degraded peatlands caused by multiple activities contribute to biodiversity loss, environmental degradation as well as a substantial source of greenhouse gas emissions globally,

Considering the benefits and values of peatlands including but not limited to providing vital ecosystem functions and services reducing the scale and mitigating the impact of flooding and drought, preventing, preserving biodiversity, and supplying food and water that maintains ecological systems and improves human livelihoods,

Recognizing the value of improving the management of peatlands to improve their carbon storage capacity on degraded sites, strengthen resilience and improve socio-economic livelihoods of population around peatlands and increase biodiversity, noting that such actions can contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Water Fowl Habitat, the Ramsar Convention the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030, the Convention on Migratory Species and the convention on biological diversity, as well as specific peatland related initiatives such as the Brazzaville Declaration on the Third Peatland Partnerships Initiatives, the Global Peatland Initiative, and the International Peatlands Society,

Recognizing also that actions to advance sustainable peatland conservation and sustainable management can also contribute to addressing climate change,

Noting United Nations Environment Assembly Resolution 3/5, entitled “Investing in Innovative Environmental Solution for Accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”, which urged member states to adopt, as appropriate, measures for preventing, reducing and reversing ecosystem degradation and loss in order to sustainably use and manage natural resources towards sustainable development,

Bis. Recalling Ramsar Convention Resolution XIII.13 on the restoration of degraded peatlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change and enhance biodiversity and disaster risk reduction,

Recognizing common interests among countries in different global regions towards enabling better management of peatlands, and on-going efforts by governments to conserve and sustainably use peatlands,

Bis. Willing to increase respective capacity through collaboration to promote best practices for conservation and sustainable management of peatlands,

Ter. Appreciating the engagement in the above-mentioned endeavors, of partners such as UNEP, FAO, CIFOR, the [Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance] where appropriate, and national research institutions,

Quater. Recognizing that policymakers’, practitioners and local communities need access to sound, credible and science-based information, analysis, and relevant tools needed to design and implement conservation and sustainable use of peatlands and consistent with laws and regulations in respective countries,

1. Urges Member States and other stakeholders to give greater emphasis to the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of peatlands worldwide in support of the sustainable practice of the peatland management including through existing effort implemented by institutions such as UNEP and FAO;

2. Requests the UN Environment Programme Executive Director, within existing resources and in consultation with the Ramsar Secretariat, to coordinate efforts to create a comprehensive and accurate global peatlands inventory, which will be crucial as a basis to identify the extent of peatlands around the world, determine the appropriate interventions, understand carbon sequestration value and potential, and plan for sustainable peatlands management;

2 bis. Welcomes the development of technical guidance on peatlands, including tropical peatlands, and in that regard noting the guidance in Resolution XIII.13/Ramsar Convention as an important way of encouraging improved ecological functioning of degraded peatlands, as well as further welcomes collaboration efforts, and in that regard noting CBD Resolution 14/5 Biodiversity and Climate Change;

3. Encourages member states and other stakeholders to enhance regional and international collaboration for the conservation and the sustainable management of peatlands, including but not limited to:

(a) Share information and knowledge, and best practices in conservation and sustainable management of peatlands;

(b) Continue inter-disciplinary research to advance the conservation and sustainable management of peatlands;

(c) Build capacity for the conservation and sustainable management of peatlands; and

(d) Promote a multi-stakeholder approach for the conservation and sustainable management of peatlands, involving private landowners, business sectors, concession holders, and other relevant stakeholders;

4. Encourages Member States, international organizations, private sector, and all other actors involved with peatland conservation, management and restoration, at national and regional levels including, inter alia, the International Tropical Peatland Centre which has been established in Indonesia, to cooperate with existing national, regional, and international peatland management organization and all actors including the UN Global Peatland Initiative to foster the conservation and sustainable management of peatlands.