International Conventions Agencies, Agreements and Programmes

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Jack Rieley
Book (published in): 
Presentations IPS Convention Bremen 2019 Future Use of Peat and Substitutes in Horticulture
conventions, peat, peatlands, international



When the International Peat Society was formed in 1968 there was little interest in the biodiversity of peatlands and talk of climate change was not even on the horizon. There was much more interest in peat resource survey, classification, and terminology. Things have changed and now there is increasing concern about the environment, especially loss of biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and restoration.

There is also much more regulation of the operations of peatland and peat industries and downstream companies in their supply chains. Many of these legal frameworks originate in one of the many international conventions, agencies, agreements, or programmes that have mushroomed over the last 50 years. In 2014 the IPS carried out a survey of the international organisations contributing to policies on the importance of peatlands and the use of peat that are implemented by national and regional governments. It identified 19 international bodies that have implications for peatland management and use of peat.

Some, for example CBD and UNFCCC, were established by the United Nations or an Agency of the UN such as FAO. Others have general remits that cover important global issues of which peatlands form part. A few, such as Ramsar and IUCN were formed independently of the UN but linked to it.

This presentation will attempt to unravel the complex workings and interrelationships of these international agreements and regulations and consider the implications they have for management of peatlands, peat processing and peat transportation for the better understanding and wise use of this important and valuable local, regional and global resource.