Peatland partners welcome Decade of Ecosystem Restoration

Peatland partners across the planet give a global welcome to the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration

Peatland conservation organisations and experts from across the world have joined together with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI) to pledge their collective commitment to tacking climate change, protecting nature and forging ahead for the health of our planet. The network of organisations is beginning a press and social media collaboration to share experiences and celebrate the successes of ongoing work. The joint effort will highlight the importance of peatlands to the planet and focus on the different ways that organisations are working towards their conservation, restoration and sustainable management across the world.

The relay of stories from peatland projects worldwide starts with the UK as the host of the upcoming United Nations climate change conference, COP26, taking place in Glasgow in November.

Restoring and conserving peatlands is the most effective way to naturally capture carbon and lock it away. The global network is working together to share the importance and value of peatlands as a nature-based way to accelerate climate action as we enter into the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

The Decade of Ecosystem Restoration aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.

As the newest partner of the Global Peatlands Initiative, the North Pennines AONB Partnership, is supporting the worldwide campaign. The AONB Partnership has been restoring peatlands for 15 years, and in that time has led the restored over 40,000 hectares of degraded peatland and raised £16 million in funding to support the work. Paul Leadbitter, the AONB Partnership’s Peatland Programme Manager, said: “Membership of GPI is an exciting step for the AONB Partnership and it’s fantastic to be having a positive impact locally, on the North Pennine peatlands, and to be working with global partners to raise awareness of the role of peatlands in tackling climate change.

“We’re looking forward to contributing to the UN Decade through our continuing peatland restoration work. Together with our other UK partners we’re building on a track record of successful collaboration, which now includes the Great North Bog initiative.”

Dianna Kopansky, Global Peatlands Coordinator for GPI, said: “Linking up to raise awareness of the potential of healthy peatlands for climate action, nature protection and our overall well-being is vital. Peatlands are a neglected ecosystem and by profiling the incredible peatland restoration efforts across the globe we hope to awaken opportunities and inspire action. Peatland conservationists from around the world are coming together to share their stories about the work they do and the work that needs to be completed to fight climate change. GPI welcomes this coordinated communications effort from our peatland partners. Together we will be highlighting peatland restoration during COP26 in Glasgow in November, and throughout the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.”

Next week the campaign will highlight peatland restoration in the Netherlands at Natuurpunt, the largest Flemish nature organisation, with the Care-Peat project that spans five countries in Europe.  Nine organisations are working together to restore the carbon storage capacity of different types of peatlands in North-West Europe, and reduce carbon emissions.

Join us – share, learn, inspire, experience and act for peatlands, people and the planet. Follow and share using #PeatlandsMatter and #GenerationRestoration.



Notes to editors:

  1. Contact Sarah Hudspeth, Communications Lead at the North Pennines AONB Partnership for further information –, Phone: 07768 123247
  1. An image from the North Pennines AONB Partnership­ peatland programme is attached. For alternative images please contact Sarah on 07768 123247 or email
  1. For more information on the Global Peat press project visit
  1. The Global Peatlands Initiative is an effort by leading experts and institutions formed by 13 founding members at the UNFCCC COP in Marrakech, Morocco in 2016 to save peatlands as the world’s largest terrestrial organic carbon stock and to prevent it being emitted into the atmosphere. The current greenhouse gas emissions from drained or burned peatlands are estimated to amount up to five percent of the global carbon budget — in the range of two billion tonnes CO2 per year. Partners to the Initiative are working together within their respective areas of expertise to improve the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of peatlands. In this way the Initiative is contributing to several Sustainable Development Goals including by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, maintaining ecosystem services and securing lives and livelihoods through improved adaptive capacity.
  1. The North Pennines is one of England’s most special places – a peaceful, unspoilt landscape with a rich history and vibrant natural beauty. It was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1988. The purpose of this nationally recognised designation is the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the area.
  1. At almost 2,000 sq. kilometres the North Pennines is the second largest of the 46 AONBs (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and is one of the most peaceful and unspoilt places in England. Visit for information about the AONB Family.
  1. The North Pennines lies between the National Parks of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and Northumberland with the urban centres of County Durham away to the east. Parts of the AONB are within the boundaries of five local authorities; the three counties of Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland, Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council.
  1. The North Pennines AONB Partnership is an alliance of 24 public, statutory and voluntary sector bodies with an interest in the future of the AONB. The work of the Partnership is carried out by its Staff Unit which takes action to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, to raise awareness of its special qualities and to improve the quality of life for local people.


  1. UNESCO Global Geopark – As well as being an AONB the North Pennines is a UNESCO Global Geopark. This puts the area’s Geopark status in the same UNESCO family as World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. UNESCO Global Geoparks are places with outstanding geology where special effort is made to make the most of geological heritage to support community and economy. Locally this includes producing geo-trails, developing projects with school and community groups, producing displays for visitor attractions and holding geology festivals and events. Funding has been secured for a new programme of activities for 2018 – 2021 that includes new downloadable trails, interactive facilities at Bowlees Visitor Centre and a range of community and school projects.

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