Three countries from the global South and Global Peatland Experts share lessons and experiences
An intense working week saw a major step forward in the global South – solidifying further the commitment of countries and partners to cooperate on protecting tropical peatlands. Ministers, peatland experts, researchers, business owners, community members and diverse stakeholders enthusiastically exchanged lessons, techniques, ideas and innovations in another leap toward action for the Global Peatlands Initiative.
In a groundbreaking move, the Indonesian Minster of Environment and Forestry invited Ministers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo (ROC) to spend a working week with her and her team in Indonesia to exchange on policy approaches, institutional setting, monitoring, enforcement and regulations for peatlands restoration, protection and management.
This exchange was an immediate follow-up to the commitments Indonesia, DRC and ROC made when they signed the historic Brazzaville Declaration on Peatlands in March earlier this year (2018). As part of the Global Peatlands Initiative, Ministers and international experts and organizations have committed to share experiences and knowledge on one of the most unique and underappreciated ecosystems on Earth – peatlands.
During the high-level visit, they pledged their continued commitment to work together to protect and sustainably manage tropical peatlands. Exchanges included best practices for peatlands protection and management, peatland fire detection and suppression, options for drainage free livelihoods, and included demonstration of the restoration efforts of private sector stakeholders.
During the working week, Indonesia and the Republic of Congo signed the first ever agreement on the protection and management of peatlands between an African and an Asian country. The five-year memorandum of understanding commits the two to work together to develop sound management of peatland while cooperating in promoting best practice in sustainable peatland management. They also agreed to help each other with capacity building and exchanges of information.
To reduce the risk of fire and stop enormous amounts of carbon dioxide being emitted, Indonesia is rewetting over two million hectares of dried out peatland, while scaling up information-sharing on these carbon-rich wetlands globally. Following the horrific peatland fires in Indonesia in 2015, the country has taken steps to curb the mismanagement of peatlands: laws are in place to make sure peatland regulations—including a nationwide ban prohibiting new peatland drainage—are enforced.
The Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo have committed to protecting the globally significant Cuvette Centrale Peatlands of the Congo Basin from unregulated land use and prevent its drainage and degradation. These are among the world’s largest tropical peatlands – estimated to contain 30 gigatons of carbon – equivalent to 15 years of U.S. emissions.
Read the full coverage by UN Environment: “Four countries from the global South to share peatland experiences” and “South-South cooperation on peatlands: Indonesia, Republic of Congo solidify their collaboration”
Read the Brazzaville Declaration in French here: Declaration de Brazzaville