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Peatlands and Climate in a Ramsar context

A Nordic-Baltic Perspective

image of Peatlands and Climate in a Ramsar context

Peatlands in the Nordic Baltic region and elsewhere in the world store large amounts of carbon and are at the same time important for conservation of biodiversity. Thus peatlands are space-effective carbon stocks, but when drained carbon and nitrogen are released as greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and as nitrate to the surface water, while methane will be released when rewetting.New knowledge reveals that one of the most efficient means to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere are the restoration of drained peatlands by reestablish former high water tables on organic soils.This project on synergies between climate change mitigation and the restoration of peatlands has been conducted under a regional Ramsar initiative covering the Nordic and Baltic countries (NorBalWet), with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The report contains chapters on peatlands and their role in climate change mitigation, individual country chapters and the role of the Ramsar Convention.

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Executive summary

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands provides a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Convention recognizes the importance of peatlands for climate change mitigation and has called upon countries “to minimize the degradation, as well as promote restoration, and improve management practices of those peatlands and other wetland types that are significant carbon stores, or have the ability to sequester carbon”.

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