We suggest that joint action is needed by the four major conservation conventions, Ramsar Convention, UNFCCC and CBD to address the issue of peatland destruction and support peatland restoration. The Ramsar Convention can make clear statements in the direction of UN-FCCC and of donors of programmes to Reduce Emissions of Deforestation in Developing Countries.
The Ramsar Conference of Parties should (continue to) make a clear statement on the enormous significance of peatlands as very large, highly threatened carbon stocks. The convention should officially address the UN-FCCC to include these carbon stocks in their agenda for a post 2012 agenda, just as forest carbon stocks are on the agenda (Agenda item 1.b.iii of the Bali Roadmap).
The UNFCCC calls for support from donor countries to reduce deforestation in developing countries (REDD). Wold Bank also started with a Programme (the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility) to reduce deforestation in developing countries.
The Ramsar Convention should address donor countries and World Bank to give priority to peatlands – explicitly also formerly forested peatlands and non-forested peatlands – within their programmes because of their extremely high amounts of carbon per areas with the highest amount of carbon per hectare.
Ramsar expresses in their agenda (SC36 paragraph 2.5, item 11) their concern on the issue of biofuels, and some of the implications of increased global biofuel production (notably from clearance and planting of palm oil plantations) for the future wise use and maintenance of the ecological character of peatlands. Ramsar considers the extent to which the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) should include an assessment of this issue within its future climate change and wetlands work. This idea deserves full support.
Ramsar has an important task here to enhance knowledge and awareness on this issue to enable fully-informed decision making within future climate change and wetlands work.