Policy drivers for peatland conservation

Rob Stoneman, Clifton Bain, David Locky, Nick Mawdsley, Michael McLaughlan, Mark Reed, Vicki Swales, Shashi Kumaran-Prentice

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Abstract

    Peatlands have long been recognised as a high priority for protection under international and national wildlife laws and agreements. Over the last half century this protection has essentially been reactionary in the face of more widespread land management policy and market forces, which have encouraged damage to peatlands. This damage has been mainly to support the delivery of provisioning services, such as food, timber and pulp, or the widespread extraction of peat and oil. Across the world, peatlands of different types face a variety of pressures from land use and land-use change as well as pollution (e.g. atmospheric pollution on British blanket bogs), making them more susceptible to impacts of climate change. Within the general framework of international agreements on peatland conservation, each country has developed its own approach to tackling the threats with varying degrees of success. While established wildlife conservation policy has helped limit the extent of damage to peatlands in some countries, there is a need and opportunity for a stronger and more urgent public policy response to address the significant ongoing losses of peatland biodiversity and ecosystem services. The recognition of the multiple benefits that peatlands provide has presented new avenues to support sustainably managed peatlands, in addition to reducing peatland loss through active restoration (e.g. Bain et al. 2011; Joosten, Tapio-Biström and Tol 2012). This chapter presents an overview of the principal international and national policy drivers, with examples from selected countries across the world to highlight how new resources could be directed at wise use and conservation of peatlands.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPeatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services
    Subtitle of host publicationScience, Policy and Practice
    EditorsAletta Bonn, Tim Allott, Martin Evans, Hans Joosten, Rob Stoneman
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Chapter19
    Pages375-401
    Number of pages27
    Edition1
    ISBN (Electronic)9781139177788
    ISBN (Print)9781107025189
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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