Inquiry Findings 2011

Image: Front cover of CoI Report 2011, Sphagnum © Laurie Campbell, Scottish Natural Heritage

Inquiry Findings 2011

"This IUCN UK Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands presents one of the most extensive assessments of peatlands undertaken in the UK to date. It identifies the state and value of peatland ecosystems and develops ways to safeguard and restore their natural capital." Lord Jamie Lindsay, Professor Andrew Watkinson & Sir Graham Wynne, Patrons of the IUCN UK Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands. 

Commission of Inquiry 2011 full reportThe 2011 IUCN UK Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands brought together over 300 contributors from over 50 organisations drawing on a wide range of expertise from science, policy and practice. The Assessment draws together the Inquiry’s findings and clearly demonstrates the value of healthy peatlands to society, the damage which has been done to them, and the huge liability of doing nothing to repair this damage. Click for Summary of findings. 

It is of great concern that the Inquiry found that much of the UK’s peatlands have been damaged, with severe consequences for biodiversity and valuable ecosystem services. A significant amount of carbon is leaking into the atmosphere from drained and deteriorating peatlands.

This is particularly alarming as a loss of only 5% of the carbon stored in peat would equate to the UK’s total annual green house gas emissions. On the other hand, healthy peatlands and those that have been restored and enhanced can make a positive contribution to tackling climate change.

The Inquiry identified a clear strategy for action to bring our peatlands back from the brink, and points the way forward to avoid the social and environmental costs of further deterioration.

This report makes clear the multiple benefits of peatland conservation and restoration, particularly in relation to carbon savings, cleaner drinking water, wildlife conservation and historic archive preservation.

 

The Commission of Inquiry was led by the IUCN UK Peatland Programme and managed through partnership. A wide range of sectors engaged in the production of scientific reviews and responded to an open consultation process. The Inquiry process was supported by discussions at the two IUCN UK Peatland Programme conferences ‘Investing in Peatlands: the Climate Challenge’ in Durham, 2010, and ‘Investing in Peatlands: Delivering Multiple Benefits’ in Stirling, 2011, along with contributions of written and oral evidence from the inquiry open event in Edinburgh in November 2010, organised with kind support of the University of Edinburgh. Land management organisations
have been closely involved in the Inquiry, and opportunities were given to those with practical peatland management experience to input to the findings.

IUCN UK PP Conf 21
Conference 2021 Registration OpenSign up for this year's IUCN UK Peatland Programme conference ‘Peatlands in Partnership: a road to…
Butterburn flow
Nature for Climate Peatland Grant SchemeInformation about the scheme to restore English peatlands and how to apply for funding.
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021
IUCN UK PP Conference 2021 - Save the dateSave the Dates: 13th - 16th September 2021
Minister Poots pictured with Jennifer Fulton, CEO of Ulster Wildlife
Northern Ireland Peatland Strategy ConsultationEnvironment Minister, Edwin Poots has launched a public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland…
Virtual Peatland Pavilion
Peatland Pavilion proposal for COP26 programmeOpportunity to contribute to and participate in proposing and shaping the first ever dedicated…
Diggers on Bwlch y Groes
Wales’ first carbon-funded peatland restoration project is complete!A peatland restoration project at Bwlch y Groes on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park is the…
England launches Peat Action Plan
England launches Peat Action PlanThe IUCN UK Peatland Programme welcomes the long-awaited publication of the England Peat Action…
Screenshot of PeatDatHub database
Launch of the PeatDataHub PeatDataHub is a research hub for communicating peatland science and managing peatland monitoring…
Eyes on the Bog equipment displayed on Water Works site
Eyes on the Bog monitoring at the Water Works projectJack Clough (University of East London’s) takes us through the process of installing an Eyes on the…
Helicopter flying over Moors for the Future site with restoration materials
Moors for the Future deliver biggest conservation season yet in a challenging yearAgainst a backdrop of ever-changing circumstances and a challenging year for nature, Moors for the…
Musician Sarah Smout on Fleet Moss with her cello
Yorkshire Peat Partnership: A music video on Fleet MossWith the help of Yorkshire Peat Parnership, musician Sarah Smout filmed a music video on Fleet Moss…
Cottongrass on peatland © Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project
Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project and Australian Wetlands Collaboration puts Arts Council England Funding to WorkThe ‘Mosses and Marshes’ project has newly been awarded a grant from Arts Council England.