Progress Towards Our CGI Commitment to Action: Protecting and Restoring Carbon-Rich Wetlands for People and Planet
NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In September 2011 Wetlands International announced its Commitment to Action under the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) ‘Securing Wetland Carbon Stores for Climate’. The global NGO aims to achieve emission reductions of at least 100 megatons by 2015, through the conservation and rehabilitation of carbon-rich wetlands. Now, one year later, they are well on the way to achieving their commitment.
Wetlands include many high carbon ecosystems such as peatlands and mangroves. Degraded through deforestation and drainage, they release disproportionately large amounts of greenhouse gasses. Our research shows that 6% of all global emissions are related to peatland degradation.
Engaging the private sector
To achieve emission reductions at the global scale, Wetlands International has established a partnership with Permian Global, a private company. Private enterprise and carbon markets provide a unique opportunity for addressing these issues and creating sustainable financing and results.
Together they share the concern about global climate change and biodiversity loss, and the threat that these pose to economies, livelihoods and ecosystems worldwide. They work to develop a portfolio of peatland and wetland forest carbon projects in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, in accordance with the highest scientific, social and biodiversity conservation standards.
Rewetting degraded peatlands in Russia
In Russia, under German-Russian bilateral cooperation, Wetlands International has been trusted the task of coordinating a major peatland rehabilitation project in and around Moscow province. This involves rewetting of 65,000 ha of peatlands and both German and Russian expert organisations, NGOs and government agencies.
Positive policy change in Indonesia
Most emissions reductions will be achieved if policy and decision-makers are aware of the issues and have access to information and expertise. Wetlands International welcomes the positive policy changes in Indonesia, and is engaged with the development of the Indonesian National REDD+ Strategy. This may in the longer term impact millions of hectares of tropical peatlands and the people who depend on their ecosystem services. Improved peatland management reduces major peat fires and smog; the main cross-border environmental issue in Southeast Asia affecting public health, key economic sectors and the daily lives of millions.
Reducing emissions from biofuels
Rapid development of oil palm plantations is a major driver of peatland conversion in Southeast Asia. Wetlands International actively engages the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to enable the sector to reduce its carbon footprint. The NGO has contributed to its Principles and Criteria that will require full GHG accounting of oil palm plantations and prevent expansion on peatlands. Their adoption will help reduce emissions from over 1.5 million hectares of tropical peatlands.
These results represent key milestones. Wetlands International invites corporate sector agencies and other organisations to support their work towards achieving their commitment, be it as donor or partner.
Read our full press release online
Jane Madgwick, CEO
Jane.madgwick @ wetlands.org
Clinton Global Initiative: http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org
SOURCE Wetlands International