Patagonian Peatland Initiative

Promoting the conservation of peatlands in cooperation among partners from Chile and Argentina

11 November 2021, Glasgow:  The Patagonian Peatland Initiative presents its Visual Story Map at the Peatland Pavilion on the UN Climate Change Conference, providing unique insides into the magnificent landscapes and cultural relation of their inhabitants with peatlands in Patagonia.

In collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society – Chile, the Greifswald Mire Centre, and the Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung, the Patagonian Peatland Initiative was launched as a space for cross-sector, multi‐stakeholder, transdisciplinary, and multi‐donor collaboration in the conservation of Patagonian peatlands.

Background

South America is home to approximately 11% of the world's peatland reservoirs, of which major formations are found across Patagonia in areas that still experience a fairly low human footprint. While their contribution towards mitigation and adaptation to climate change is crucial, Patagonian peatlands face several threats, including mining, unsustainable extraction of moss, invasion of beavers, among others. For the protection of these valuable landscapes, it is crucial to gather more information on these ecosystems, promote their conservation, and manage the use of soil and water in their areas of influence in rational ways. Above all, it requires capacity building on the local scale, introducing peatland conservation as an integral part of regional development, building long term commitment amongst local authorities, communities, and civil society organizations.

The project

The creation of a Patagonian Peatland Initiative aims to provide the underlying basis to facilitate these processes on the regional scale, creating a hub for international collaboration, promoting and coordinating the realization of dedicated projects, and serving as a crucial flagship model for peatland conservation in the southern hemisphere and across the Americas.

This project considers two main activities during 2021:

  1. Binational Peatland Seminar: Knowing and discussing strategies, challenges, and opportunities for the creation of an initiative for the conservation of Patagonian peatlands was the main goal of the Seminar. This event was organized by the Ministry of Environment of Chile and WCS Chile.
    More than 115 people, mainly from Chile and Argentina, participated in the event, contributing with all their experience, scientific knowledge, expertise in policy development and practical conservation work in the conception of the initiative.

  2. Launch of Visual Story Map on the UNFCCC COP26:
    Providing insights into Patagonian peatlands and highlighting the people who culturally relate to them, this story map is intended to serve as a sensitization tool for the broad public and decision-makers, but also to connect to other peatland initiatives around the world. It will be launched in November 2021, in the context of UNFCCC COP26.

All events of the Peatland Pavilion in Glasgow will be live streamed here: Virtual Peatland Pavilion.