Communique: IPS Global Peatland and Peat Industry Summit



12 October 2018

IPS has further adapted the Rotterdam Summit statement to include the views of all speakers (previous version was of 3 Oct):


The International Peatland Society (IPS) held the first ‘Global Peatland and Peat Industry Summit’ on September 10th2018, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It was attended by 75 participants.

The ‘Summit’ brought together senior executives of peat and peat products industries, and companies involved in peatland management for agriculture and forestry from 20 countries, with senior representatives of International Agencies, Conventions, Agreements and Programmes, academia/science and regional regulators.

The main objective of the ‘Summit’ was to inform industry companies how their businesses are affected by international processes and engagements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and policies that originate from these international, national and regional bodies and how these are implemented at national or regional levels.

In exchange, industry representatives explained about their businesses including their nature, focus and regard for the environment.

This dialogue included discussion of biodiversity, climate change, economy, ecosystem services, food safety, growing media, international conventions, responsible peatland management, and societal wellbeing.

It was concluded that there is already a high amount of evidence and recommendations giving a framework for truly sustainable peatland management. To be able to adapt to this rapidly changing world there is also a need for further high-quality research and better understanding of the importance of peatlands and the role they play in maintaining and improving environmental quality.

The IPS will continue to engage with all participants to promote resolution of global challenges facing peat and peatlands.


  • Hans Hoogeveen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy
  • Jack Rieley, Honorary Professor, University of Nottingham, UK and Executive Board of the IPS
  • Tobias Salathé, Senior Adviser (Europe), Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
  • Kiyoto Tanabe, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Paul Short, President of the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association
  • Maria Nuutinen, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Tim Christophersen, Senior Programme Officer, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI)
  • Hans Joosten, Greifswald Mire Centre, Germany
  • Aljosja Hooijer and Ronald Vernimmen, Deltares Institute for Applied Research on Wetlands, The Netherlands
  • Bernd Hofer, Peatland Consultant, Germany
  • Chris Blok, Project Manager, Wortelmedia and Plantenvoeding Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • Clifton Bain, Director International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme
  • Moderator: Erki Niitlaan, Estonian Peat Association, IPS


The International Peatland Society (IPS) is a non-governmental organisation of individual, corporate, institutional and student members dedicated to the responsible management and Wise Use of peatlands and peat.

With its three Commissions on Economy, Environment and Society the IPS reflects a statement made at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992: “Protection of the environment is only feasible if policies consider economic and social aspects at the same time. If any pillar is weak then the whole system of Sustainable Development is not sustainable’.

The IPS was constituted in 1968 in Quebec, Canada. Today, the IPS is registered in Finland where the IPS Secretariat also is located. Currently the IPS has around 1500 members in 42 countries.

IPS has been associated with the Ramsar Convention since COP6 in Brisbane, Australia in 1996 and an observer organisation on the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel since 1999 until today.

More recently, the IPS has obtained observer status at the COP of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), liaises with the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and has been represented at meetings of the Food and Agriculture Organisation Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (FAO/MICCA) Programme. It is also a partner in the Global Peatland Initiative (GPI).

Most recently, the IPS participated in several side events at COP23 of the UNFCCC in Bonn, Germany in November 2017.

Further information about the IPS can be found at

Press contact:
IPS President Gerald Schmilewski

Abstracts and presentations: