Blue carbon and peatlands

Peatlands and blue carbon as major land carbon stores

Peatland ecosystems globally store 3-5 times more carbon per unit area than any other terrestrial ecosystem. They also help conserve biodiversity, provide ecosystem services, food, and income for local, often poor, communities. Mangroves, in addition, prevent floods, storm surges and provide tsunami protection.

These ecosystems are disappearing at an alarming rate with strong negative implications for climate change, increased risk of damages from natural disasters, and deteriorating food security and nutrition for local communities. Despite this importance, peatlands and mangroves are still under-researched areas.

FTA is expanding its work in its hallmark SWAMP project (Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Project), which has built an expert network in 20 countries, and conducts research-for-development on peatland ecology, diversity and climate effects.

In addition, FTA is continuing to refine its global wetlands map – published in 2017 – by validating its peatland map in Africa and Latin America. Under this priority, FTA will generate global knowledge on peatland eco-hydrology and ecosystem services, and on carbon stock dynamics and the net primary productivity of rewetted peat as a peatland restoration option.