Restored bog

Robert Duff Presented at IUCN Peatland Conference 2020

January 19, 2021

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Robert Duff, Marches Mosses BogLIFE Project Manager, made a presentation at the IUCN Peatland Conference 2020, which was attended virtually by 560 peatland conservationists and ecologists from across the UK.

The IUCN – the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – is a global organisation. Within that, the UK branch established the IUCN UK Peatland Programme in 2009. Their objective is “to promote peatland restoration in the UK. The Programme advocates the multiple benefits of peatlands through partnerships, strong science, sound policy and effective practice.” 

The 2020 Peatland Conference focused on actions being taken to ensure their peatland strategy is acted upon, due to the growing urgency of the climate and biodiversity emergencies. The virtual event looked at the absolutely vital role that healthy peatlands play in society’s adaptability, resilience and recovery as we confront these existential emergencies.

Robert’s presentation focussed on the development of successive restoration projects around the Marches Mosses, culminating in the current BogLIFE regeneration programme. You can watch Robert’s presentation here:

The importance of healthy peatland cannot be overstated. When healthy, kept wet and clear of non-peat based plants that draw water out of the peat, it stores more carbon than the same area of forest. However, if peat is allowed to dry out, or turned over to forestry or agriculture, the stored carbon is released into the atmosphere as CO2, making the climate crisis even worse.

It is also a precious habitat, a place of huge biodiversity of plants and animals, some of which can only survive in the acidic environment of the peatland. And it has other benefits for people – with its wide-open skies and peacefulness, it’s a great place for a quiet walk to contemplate the magic and mystery of this wonderful land.

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