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What are peatlands?

Peatlands are wetland ecosystems distinguished by their highly organic and carbon-rich peat soils. Some 80 per cent of peat is organic matter and carbon accounts for 50-60 per cent of its mass. Peatlands are characterised by permanently waterlogged conditions that prevent plant material from fully decomposing, keeping carbon locked in and preventing it from entering the atmosphere as greenhouse gas.

They are vital ecosystems in the fight against climate change, covering just three per cent of the world’s surface yet holding nearly 30 per cent of all natural carbon – almost twice as much as the entirety of Earth’s forest biomass. They are also crucial sanctuaries of biodiversity, and significant sources of clean and constant freshwater.

Advantages of landscape-scale initiatives for investors

  • Stakeholder support: Through a common vision, landscapes can create an enabling environment for investment through ensuring stronger community and government support. Promoting more sustainable land and resource management practices, fostering cooperation and longterm commitment to conservation goals.
  • Co-benefits: With a holistic approach, landscape-level investments can more effectively support ecological co-benefits such as healthy water flows and biodiversity corridors. These include economic incentives for local businesses such as project incubation, capacity building and micro-credit schemes. Community-level mechanisms can offer equitable benefit-sharing with local and indigenous communities.
  • Risk mitigation: Landscape-scale projects involve partnerships with various stakeholders that can help share financial and operational risks, making the projects more attractive to investors. The enhanced ecosystem resilience mentioned above means a more stable investment and a higher probability of carbon returns.
  • Enhanced ecosystem resilience: Landscape-scale initiatives cover larger areas and often include a variety of ecosystems. This large scale allows for more effective habitat connectivity, increases project resilience and reduces the risk of species isolation and ecological degradation beyond project boundaries.
  • Economies of scale: Working across a landscape can create economies of scale, enabling investments to be pooled into portfolios of projects developed to common methodologies and allowing for the development of financial mechanisms that can receive investment at scale. Landscape-scale initiatives can put in place institutions to support project development that act as a point of engagement for investors to influence how projects are managed.

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