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.
|Title of host publication||Peatland Restoration and Ecosystem Services|
|Subtitle of host publication||Science, Policy and Practice|
|Editors||Aletta Bonn, Tim Allott, Martin Evans, Hans Joosten, Rob Stoneman|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2016|