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Carbon-climate-human interactions in tropical peatlands vulnerabilities, risks and mitigation measures


Utilizing and synergizing results from 3 INCO research projects, CARBOPEAT promotes enhanced understanding and awareness of carbon-climate-human interactions in tropical peatlands, focusing on vulnerabilities of and risks to their carbon pools and mitigation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, through wise use of natural resources. Peatlands are vital components of global carbon soil-atmosphere exchange processes and will be important in negotiations toward post-Kyoto agreements (UNFCCC). Tropical peatlands are high carbon density ecosystems that are vulnerable to destabilisation through human and climate induced changes. They contain 50-70 Gt carbon (3 global soil carbon) but land use changes and fire are reducing this carbon store and contributing to GHG emissions. A failure to account for these emissions could lead to underestimates of future rates of increase in atmospheric GHGs and the extent of human induced climate change. Improved understanding of tropical peatland carbon dynamics has implications for and relevance to EU and DC policies and obligations of international treaties dealing with climate change and regional sustainability. The CARBOPEAT objectives are to (i) integrate data from EU projects with those of other research teams to determine more precisely the magnitude of the tropical peat carbon store (ii) establish an international expert network to address global and regional issues of tropical peatland carbon balance (iii) share and diffuse expertise on carbon-climate-human interactions of tropical peatlands through working groups and workshops and integrate with information on boreal and temperate peatlands (iv) investigate cost effective ways to manage peatland carbon stocks, and explore potential carbon offset and trading mechanisms (v) establish platforms for information dissemination, strategy implementation and policy guidance targeted at International Conventions, industry, EU and DC Governments.

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EU contribution
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University Road
United Kingdom

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Participants (6)