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Urgent call to protect peatland in bid to slow global warming
3:00am Monday 9th September 2013 in News
URGENT action to restore or protect peatlands in a bid to help slow global warming is due to be launched at a conference in North Yorkshire.
The call to protect or restore one million hectares of the UK’s peat bogs by 2020 is to be made at a conference organised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in York this week.
Boglands act as an important store of carbon, containing twice as much carbon as the world’s forests.
Huge areas of peatland have been drained and damaged in the past and the carbon which was locked in the peat for thousands of years is now rapidly being released to the atmosphere.
Damaged peatlands are responsible for at least ten per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
The conference runs at York University from Tuesday, September 10 until Thursday, September 12 and will explore how conservation, government and businesses can work together to restore peatland.
One of the key speakers at the conference will be Rob Stoneman, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Chair of the UK IUCN Peatland Programme, who has pioneered peatland restoration projects.
The Yorkshire Peat Partnership recently announced it has managed to restore more than a quarter of Yorkshire’s peatlands in a multi-million pound project.
Clifton Bain, director of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme, said: “We are sitting on a compost time bomb with over three billion tonnes of stored carbon in the peat which will be lost to the atmosphere if we don’t return the peatlands to a healthy condition.
“There are clear costs benefits to society in avoiding peatland damage.”
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