Peatlands store tremendous amounts of carbon. However, when they are drained and used – mainly for agriculture, grazing and forestry – peatlands become significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Peatlands drainage and peat fires are responsible for almost one-quarter of carbon emissions from the land use sector.
This decision support tree was developed for the 2012 report, Peatlands – guidance for climate change mitigation by conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable use. The report, available on line, outlines the steps in the decision-making process. The main strategies for reducing emissions from peatlands and organic soils aim to:
- secure undrained peatlands to prevent emissions;
- rewet drained peatlands to reduce emissions; and
- adapt management strategies for peatlands that cannot be rewetted.