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Peatland Atlas 2023 - Facts and figures about wet climate guardians

Publication date
Source/ Author
  • Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
  • Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND)
  • Michael Succow Stiftung
  • Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI)
  • English

Although peatlands cover only 3% of the world's land, they store about twice as much carbon as in the biomass of all the world's forests combined. Thus, they are incredibly important especially for the climate and biodiversity. But worldwide more than 10 % of the 500 million hectares of peatlands are already drained, in parts of Central Europe well over 90 %. Every year, another 500,000 hectares of peatlands are destroyed. Drainage turns peatlands into climate killers, since - once drained - they release huge amounts of greenhouse gases - from permafrost in the north to palm oil plantations in Indonesia. With more than two billion tonnes of CO2, the draining of peatlands is responsible for about 4% of all human-made emissions globally. In addition, drainage is also disastrous for biodiversity. Unique habitats for specially adapted species are being lost. 
This is outlined in the Peatland Atlas 2023 - Facts and figures on wet climate guardians.

The Peatland Atlas is published by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the Michael Succow Stiftung, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre, and BUND (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland/Friends of the Earth Germany), with support of the Global Peatlands Initiative.

Here you may also find the German version, the Mooratlas.