Peatland Code Governance

How is the Peatland Code managed and how was it developed?

Image: Sphagnum pulchrum © Norrie Russell

Peatland Code Governance

The Peatland Code and associated documents were published in March 2017 following an extensive development process which began in September 2013. It is issued by the IUCN UK National Committee and is managed on its behalf by an Executive Board (EB). The Executive Board is facilitated by IUCN UK Peatland Programme staff and supported by a Technical Advisory Board including additional stakeholder groups, when required. Both the Executive Board and Technical Advisory Board are covered by the IUCN UK PP Conflict of Interest policy, and are require to declare any conflict of interest before becoming a memberThis is then reviewed annually as part of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme Conflict of Interest policy. Terms of reference have been put in place for both the Executive Board and Technical Advisory Board.

Peatland Code governance structure

The Peatland Code story so far... 

  • 2013 - Pilot restoration projects established
  • 2015 - Peatland Code version 1.0 (concept only) launched following Defra funded and commissioned report to develop peatland carbon metrics and financial modelling to enable quantification and valuation of the carbon impacts of peatland. 
  • 2017 - Peatland Code v1.1 launched and certification body appointed.
  • 2018 - First Peatland Code validation awarded
  • 2020 - UK Land Carbon Registry launched
  • 2021 - Peatland Code v1.2 launched. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) are satisfied that the Peatland Code v1.2. meets the requirements for conformity assessment schemes required by ISO/IEC 14065 and EA-1/22

  • 2022 - Defra funded Centre for Ecology and Hydrology research report on Greenhouse Gas data and associated emissions factors

  • 2023 - Version 2.0 of the Peatland Code was launched, expanded to include fens and a reduction in minimum peat depth for bogs, allowing more projects to register with the Code.

How decisions are made

 

The Peatland Code Coordinator and the Peatland Code team will prepare draft Peatland Code documentation in a redline format with specific questions for the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) members to input and provide comments on. The secretariat will then share these papers ahead of the TAB advisory meeting via email and share the paper with the Market and Investment Forum for feedback. Any feedback received is anonymously shared with the TAB members. All questions, decision made, and feedback is logged internally in our evidence log.

Following a TAB meeting the minutes and actions are circulated to the members before being published on the website. Once all the comments have been addressed the new version or methodology change can be presented the EB for comment and final sign off.  If this has been approved the proposed change will go to a 30-day public consultation period.

The Executive Board

The Executive Board makes all management decisions regarding the Peatland Code on behalf of the IUCN UK National Committee and is responsible for strategic development of the Peatland Code in line with the objectives of the IUCN UK National Committee Peatland Programme. Peatland Code Executive Board members, and the Chair, are appointed by the IUCN UK National Committee to make decisions on their behalf. Appointments are for a period of three years but subject to renewal by the National Committee.

The Executive Board is made up of members with relevant expertise from the wider steering group and has a close working relationship with the Woodland Carbon Code. The board meets two times a year (as a minimum) and then as frequently as required. 

Members:

  • Stuart Brooks, IUCN UK National Committee - Chair
  • Rob Stoneman, Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts - Steering Group
  • Vicky West, UK Woodland Carbon Code - Manager
  • Renée Kerkvliet Hermans, IUCN UK Peatland Programme - Peatland Code Co-ordinator
  • Mark Reed, Scotland's Rural College / IUCN UK Peatland Programme - Steering Group
  • Emma Goodyer, IUCN UK Peatland Programme - Director

Actions and Agreements from Executive Board meetings

December 2023:

  • Risk buffer: TAB has been overridden, variable risk buffer suggestion not accepted. Renée will go back to the consultant to draft our own tools. The risk buffer will increase to 20% but the framework will need to be simpler.
  • Shallow Peat Ruling: We are keen to work with scientific community for better data around shallower peat, until then the shallow peat ruling stays. Also include in the clarification: We will take a cautionary approach around deciding what is too shallow. 

March 2024:

  • Executive Board gave approval for Version 2.1 to proceed to consultation.

Peatland Code Technical Advisory Board 

The Technical Advisory Board (TAB) provides technical oversight and recommendations to the Peatland Code Executive Board. The Technical Advisory Board will take into consideration any recommendation for change relevant to the Peatland Code. Appointments are made by matching skills with relavant experts who are formally invited to become a TAB member. TAB members are required to agree to the terms of reference in place and declare any conflict of interest before they formally join the board.  This is reviewed on an annual basis by the Peatland Code Manager or as an when a vacancy becomes available. 

The TAB has representatives from all four UK countries, including policy and funding, agencies with expert knowledge, peatlands and carbon markets, and validation verification bodies, as well as academics with a good understanding of greenhouse gases and carbon market experts.

Submissions for discussion should be sent to our Peatland Code Coordinator renee.kerkvliet-hermans@iucn.org.uk

For all other enquiries and Secretariat duties please contact ed.salter@iucn.org.uk

Members: 

Members of the Peatland Code Executive Board: 

  • Emma Hinchliffe (Chair)  

  • Renée Kerkvliet-Hermans  

  • Ed Salter (Secretariat)  

Government and Government Agencies: 

  • Ben Dipper, Scottish Government  

  • Peter Phillips, Scottish Government 

  • Dinker Bhardwaj, Scottish Government 

  • Patrick Jean-Martel, NatureScot 

  • Judith Stuart, Defra 

  • Sophie Chapman, Defra

  • Katharine Birdsall, Environment Agency

  • David Drake, Natural England

  • Steve Clarke, Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme

  • Rhoswen Leonard, National Resources Wales

  • Peter Jones, National Resources Wales

  • Eimear Reeve, DAERA Northern Ireland 

  • John McKillen, DAERA Northern Ireland

Academia/Research: 

  • Chris Evans, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology 

  • Richard Lindsay, University of East London/IUCN UK Peatland Programme 

  • Rebekka Artz, James Hutton Institute  

  • Hans Joosten, Universität Greifswald   

  • John Couwenberg, Universität Greifswald  

Carbon Market Experts: 

  • Pat Snowden, Forestry Commission - Woodland Carbon Code 

  • Vicky West, Forestry Commission - Woodland Carbon Code 

  • Ian Dickie, Eftec 

  • Andrew Moxey, Pareto Consulting 

  • Helen Avery, Green Finance Institute  

  • James Dalton, IUCN 

Accreditation Bodies: 

  • Gillian Manniex, UKAS 

Validation/Verifier Bodies

  • Organic Farmers & Growers

  • Andy Grundy, Soil Association

  • Sarah Erbanova, SAC Consulting

 

Minutes of Technical Advisory Board Meetings

2023

August Agenda: General Update/Version 2 of the Peatland Code Amendments/Future Developments of the Peatland Code 

November Agenda: General Update/Evidencing deep peat /Drainage buffer around water bodies/High Winter Water table fens

Key Actions and Agreements:

  • Drainage Buffer - 30 metres buffer makes sense because we're basing it on the other buffer area for ditch blocking. No rewetting credits in this buffer, but revegetation credits can be generated in this exclusion zone 
  • High Winter Water table fens: TAB members will look at CO2 and Methane mean water table, possibly building into the calculator the expected methane emission from monthly mean water tables data.  

2024

February Agenda: General Update/Risk Buffer Guidance Update/FIRNS Biodiversity Crediting Project/Version 2.1 of the Peatland Code 

Key Actions and Agreements

  • Version 2.1: TAB are supportive of version 2.1 release and have no objections to the proposed timeine

 

Peatland Code Market and Investment Forum

This forum provides a mechanism for feedback, comment and information relating to the Peatland Code’s interaction with the market place to support development whilst retaining distance from parties with a vested interest in directly steering and decision making in relation to the Peatland Code process. The is not a group who formally meet. Interaction is primarily through written communications. 

Membership is open to Project Developers, End Buyers, Brokers and Retail aggregators registered on the Peatland Code IHS Markit registry.  

If you wish to become a member please contact peatlandcode@iucn.org.uk

 

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