FAO: Mapping Peatlands Helps Countries Adapt and Manage Resources Better
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The publication is accessible in SEPAL, as part of FAO's geospatial toolkit.

It aalgamates the work of 35 expert authors from 14 countries, and highlights experiences from tropical peatland countries such as Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru, as well as temperate regions.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a publication with recommendations on how to manage the world’s peatlands. Titled ‘Peatland Mapping and Monitoring,’ the publication amalgamates the work of 35 expert authors from 14 countries, and highlights experiences from tropical peatland countries such as Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru, as well as temperate regions.

According to the UN, approximately 15% of the world’s peatlands have already been drained mainly for cropping, grazing, forestry and extraction, with hotspots of peatland degradation found in Europe, Russia and Northern America, southeast Asia, East Africa, and the Amazon basin. In Indonesia, peatlands drainage coupled with deforestation have contributed to extensive fires that impact regional air quality and health.

“Mapping peatlands to know their location, extent and greenhouse gas emissions potential, can help countries to plan and better manage their land, water and biodiversity, mitigating climate change and adapting to it more effectively,” said Maria Nuutinen, FAO’s lead peatlands expert and guidelines co-author.  

The publication is accessible in SEPAL, as part of FAO’s geospatial toolkit. According to FAO, “the peatland monitoring module provides up-to-date data on soil moisture trends to help detect drainage and monitor restoration efforts. Soil moisture maps can be updated every two weeks using Sentinel-1 imagery from the European Space Agency.”

FAO’s online mapping technology has already been successfully implemented in Indonesia, which has 40% of all tropical peatlands. [UN Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [Publication: Peatland Mapping and Monitoring] [SEPAL]

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