Thursday, 18 May 2017 (GMT+7)    14:00 - 15:30    Room: Breakout Room 2 (Ballroom 2)

“Black gold” for climate mitigation? The rediscovered carbon stocks in tropical wetlands and peatlands

Host:  CIFOR

New maps and recent discoveries are changing our understanding of the immense carbon storage potential of tropical wetlands and peatlands. And, this knowledge remains largely unappreciated. Contrary to previous belief, we now know of the existence of enormous peatland carbon stocks in the Congo basin and South America. Indonesia continues to house the most peat in Asia, and has the deepest peatlands in the tropics, with peatland mapping now a priority for the Indonesian government and its restoration aims. Improved and widespread understanding of the location, extent and carbon stores of peatlands is necessary in order to combat deforestation, drainage, degradation and to restore these fragile ecosystems.

This forum, hosted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and partners, will discuss the latest tools for identifying and locating wetlands and peatlands, and reveal how scientists are reassessing carbon stocks. The individuals harnessing such cutting-edge data will be in conversation with the policy makers and private sector actors who play a different but essential role in protecting wetlands and peatlands, making for new insights that are essential for climate change mitigation and adaptation interventions, with global climate impacts.

Key questions:

  1. What do we currently know about the extent and importance of tropical peatlands?
  2. To what extend can peatlands support climate change mitigation in peat-rich countries?
  3. What is needed to pave the way toward sustainable peatland management?

Background reading:

  1. An expert system model for mapping tropical wetlands and peatlands reveals South America as thelargest contributor
  2. Characterizing degradation of palm swamp peatlands from space and on the ground: An exploratory study in the Peruvian Amazon
  3. Denial of long-term issues with agriculture on tropical peatlands will have devastating consequences
  4. Impacts of land use, restoration, and climate change on tropical peat carbon stocks in the twenty-first century: implications for climate mitigation
  5. CIFOR’s Global Wetlands Map
  6. Age, extent and carbon storage of the central Congo Basin peatland complex
This session will be in English. Simultaneous Indonesian translation will be available.