The Center for International Forestry Research has led global research on peatlands for more than 20 years. As the world acts on climate change, understanding the diverse values of peatlands is more important than ever. Explore this site to learn more about CIFOR’s ongoing research into these critical landscapes.
Peatlands are a source of life for plants, animals and people. They provide food, clean water and other benefits to nearby communities, and are an essential resource for livelihoods. They are also home to many of the world’s threatened species, such as orangutans, rhinoceroses and leopards.
Peatlands play a critical role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Draining, clearing and burning of peatlands for agriculture and other purposes is a massive source of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Meanwhile, the carbon storage potential of undisturbed peatlands is widely underappreciated.
Research is needed to better map and quantify the world’s peatlands, and understand their diverse values across landscapes, including for local communities. This will support more effective efforts toward conservation and restoration of peatlands, and global action on climate change.
What are peatlands?
Peatlands are formed when an abundance of water slows the rate of decay of vegetation, leaving behind a layer of rich, organic matter known as peat. This makes them highly efficient carbon sinks – despite covering only 3-5% of the earth’s surface, peatlands are estimated to hold more than 30% of the world’s soil carbon stocks.
Peatlands are found all over the world, from permafrost regions to tropical rainforests and coastal areas. Yet they remain some of the least understood and monitored ecosystems in the world.
The IPN toolbox (in Bahasa Indonesia) is a training tool on the challenges and opportunities of peatlands in Indonesia, and the relationship with climate change mitigation and adaptation.Learn more
The SWAMP toolbox provides training materials for academia, policy makers and practitioners on wetlands issues related to climate change and mitigation strategies.Learn more
“This means it can be done”: Perspectives on the latest State of the World’s Forests report in the Indonesian context
Scientists share insights on national success in reducing deforestation, and key areas for future focus Learn more
Peatland restoration: connecting science with policy and practice
An international symposium explored successful restoration approaches, stopping fires and increasing food and fuel supplies. Learn more
How bioenergy can help restore landscapes and livelihoods
A new book from CIFOR-ICRAF examines research into bioenergy production in Indonesia Learn more
Climate diplomacy up next for Murdiyarso?
Principal Scientist Daniel Murdiyarso becomes the first Indonesian to receive prestigious honorary doctorate from the University of Helsinki Learn more
Sustainable soil movement grows at COP15 on land desertification and drought
Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health takes shape Learn more
Tropical Peatlands Exchange 2018
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) with the support from the Government of Indonesia and participation of private sector is organizing a one-day event to provide platform for exchanges of information between stakeholders concerned on the sustainability of tropical peatlands in Indonesia.
A special edition of the Global Landscapes Forum, with a focus on peatlands, was hosted on 18 May 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event brought together a range of stakeholders involved in the use and management of peatlands, from government officials to private sector representatives, community members, researchers and civil society.Learn more
CIFOR and FOERDIA join forces to solve forest fires and peatlands
The multiple dimensions of peatlands protection and restoration are part of the areas of research of CIFOR and FOERDIA. Both institutions have collaborated since 1997 and will continue to work together to connect research with policymaking and implementation in a way that triggers action.
CIFOR at Bonn Climate Change Conference
CIFOR will join various sessions at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, bringing the latest scientific research and insights on the climate dimensions of land use, forestry, the urban environment, peatlands and other emissions hotspots in the tropics.
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or questions about peatlands.
For other support or requests, please contact our Media team.
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Available on demand: Broadcast-quality HD video footage of peatlands (landscapes, communities, fires, research) and interviews with experts.