'Investing in Peatlands - the Climate Challenge' Conference

The conference formed a platform for exchange and discussion between scientists, landowners and managers and policy advisers, with a strong focus on climate change, and the early findings of the IUCN UK Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands.

This conference is part of a series of IUCN UK ‘Investing in Peatlands’ conferences over 2010-2012, with the next one planned for 20th -22nd June 2011 in Stirling.

Susan Davies, SNH and Martyn Howat, Commission of Inquiry jointly chaired the conference, and keynote talks by Professor Hans Joosten, Wetlands International and Professor Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen, focused on the international importance of peatlands for climate change mitigation and adaptation and UK climate targets and the role of UK peatlands.

Our competition for the best communication of a peatland issue ComPEAT! attracted a wide range of entries. Find out about the winning entries.

Conference proceedings

Eight key proposed actions came out of the conference:

  1. Effective restoration of peatlands
  2. A wider land use strategy, and economic incentives for restoration
  3. Collaborative working and early and continuing engagement with all stakeholders
  4. Development of good practice and standardisation of methods
  5. Long-term coordinated monitoring targeted at restoration benefits, and demonstration sites
  6. The Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands was called on to articulate knowledge gaps and communicate these in compelling way to funders and policy makers
  7. The plenum panel called for the benefits of peatland ecosystems to be communicated in single, clear and powerful messages
  8. The conference endorsed the proposal for the development of a UK Peat Hub as a national coordination point for peatland management, policy and research

Download full conference proceedings here.

Conference presentations

Download speaker information and abstracts here.

For workshop presentations click here.

Download conference presentations by clicking on the titles below.

Introduction: the IUCN UK Peatland Programme
Clifton Bain, Director, IUCN UK Peatland Programme
International importance of peatlands for climate change mitigation and adaptation
Prof Hans Joosten, Universität Greifswald, Secretary-General International Mire Conservation Group
Climate Change: UK climate targets and context for mitigation and adaptation action
Sam Fankhauser, UK Committee on Climate Change
Peatlands and the climate challenge in the UK
Prof Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen
Introduction to Inquiry: aims and process
Steve Chapman, Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Inquiry scientific co-ordinator
LCN review 1 - Extent and condition of UK peatlands
Matthew Shepherd et al, Natural England
IUCN review 2 - Peatlands: climate change mitigation and adaptation potential
Fred Worrall et al, Durham University
IUCN review 3 - Peatland hydrology
Jill Labadz et al, Nottingham Trent University
IUCN review 4 - Impacts of peatland restoration
Paul Lunt et al, University of Plymouth
IUCN review 5 - Peatland biodiversity
Penny Anderson et al, Penny Anderson Associates
Living with Environmental Change
Prof Andrew Watkinson, Director, Living with Environmental Change
IUCN/ EH review 6 - Peatland historic environment
Ben Gearey et al, University of Birmingham
IUCN review 7 - Impacts of burning management on peatlands
Fred Worrall et al, Durham University
IUCN review 8 - Policy measures for sustainable management
Mark Reed et al, University of Aberdeen
Moorlands Indicators of Climate Change Initiative (MICCI)
Chris Robinson, Peak District National Park Authority / Association of National Park Authorities
Communicating peatland management advice
Simon Thorp, Secretary, Scotland’s Moorland Forum
Effective communication in practice: the Flow Country
Norrie Russell, Senior Site Manager, Forsinard Flows Reserve, RSPB
Telling stories: knowledge exchange across science, policy and practice 
Jeremy Philipson, Assistant Director, Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) Programme
National Ecosystem Assessment and the Peatlands Inquiry
Prof Steve Albon, Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
Proposal for a UK Peat Research Hub
Clifton Bain & Aletta Bonn, IUCN UK Peatland Programme




Richard Payne
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Peat restoration and natural flood managementThe Upland Environments Research Unit at the University of Manchester has been working closely with…
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New initiative to combine data across studies and sites to better inform peatland policy and practice Researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from across Europe, whose goal is to understand better…
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Moving towards a future of peat-free productsCheap, usually imported, bags of peat do not reflect the environmental costs to society caused by…