Towards climate-responsible peatlands management.
Peatlands are lands with a naturally accumulated peat layer at their surface. In their natural state, peatlands support a large range of habitats and provide a home for unique biodiversity. Even though peatlands extend over a relatively small portion of the earth's land surface, they hold a large pool of carbon. Along with storing large quantities of carbon, peatlands also play an important role in the retention, purification and release of water and in the mitigation of droughts and floods. When drained, peatlands become net sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Because of drainage, organic soils are currently the third-largest emitter of GHGs in the Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use sector. The aim of this guidebook is to support the reduction of GHG emissions from managed peatlands and present guidance for responsible management practices that can maintain peatlands ecosystem services while sustaining and improving local livelihoods. This guidebook also provided an overview of the present knowledge on peatlands, including their geographic distribution, ecological characteristics and socio-economic importance.