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Key messages:

  1. Peatlands are globally-important carbon sinks that will prove crucial in the fight against climate change. They are threatened by competing land use demands, especially draining and burning for agriculture and silviculture. A sustainable solution for managing peatlands must be negotiated with policymakers, the private sector and stakeholders using a landscape approach.
  2. The landscape approach is a way of mediating multi-sector solutions to complex problems related to food, livelihoods, finance, rights and restoration.
  3. With so much carbon stored, there are significant climate risks associated with the draining and degradation of peatlands. In 2015, Indonesia’s peat fires killed 19 people, impacted the health of over 500,000 more, cost the Indonesian Government at least $16 billion USD, and destroyed huge swathes of unique ecosystems and habitats, while releasing 10-15% of global carbon emmisions for the year.The world cannot risk a repeat of Indonesia’s 2015 peat fires.
  4. It is estimated that almost two-thirds of the world’s peatlands are yet to be discovered. The race is on to find the world’s remaining peatlands before they are dug up, drained or degraded.
  5. While there is an urgent need to protect and restore peatlands, tens of millions of people depend on peatlands to make a living, feed their families and survive. In fighting for protection and restoration of peatlands, negotiating a solution that allows for sustainable livelihoods for these people and communities is imperative.
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