Global Peatland Assessment

Date: 22.07.2022

The Secretariat  would like to inform contracting parties of the ongoing Global Peatlands Assessment (GPA) and contributions to this process.

The GPA is an activity under the Global Peatlands Initiative (, which was launched in 2016 at UNFCCC COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco by 13 founding members including the Convention on Wetlands. Partners in the Initiative work together within their respective areas of expertise to improve the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of peatlands.

The GPA is undertaken pursuant to United Nations Environment Assembly Resolution Conservation and sustainable management of peatlands (EA.4/Res.16), which requests UNEP, in consultation with the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands, to coordinate efforts to create a comprehensive and accurate inventory of peatlands, as a crucial basis for identifying the extent of peatlands globally, determining appropriate interventions, understanding the value and potential of carbon sequestration, and planning for sustainable peatland management.

The GPA is coordinated by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, supported by a Steering Committee consisting of UNEP, FAO and the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands. Further information is available in the enclosed overview of the GPA process and brief update.


Importance of the GPA and its relevance to the Convention

The GPA provides an opportunity to support and further strengthen peatlands inventory, protection, restoration and wise use, at national level and globally through the Convention on Wetlands.

Resolution XIII.13 Restoration of degraded peatlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change and enhance biodiversity and disaster risk reduction notes the Global Peatlands Initiative as a global effort to save peatlands as the world’s largest terrestrial organic carbon stock, and invites Contracting Parties with peatlands to engage in the Global Peatlands Initiative, inter alia by contributing case studies of peatland restoration projects to the global knowledge base of best practices.  

The GPA and its findings and data outputs may also contribute towards efforts by Parties to develop and improve national wetland inventories, strengthening them as national planning and decision support tools, in global reporting, for example to track SDG indicator 6.6.1 for which the Convention on Wetlands and UNEP are co-custodians, and for better consideration of peatlands in climate action in line with Resolution XIII.13 and XII.11.

The Convention has established a globally accepted Classification System for Wetland Type (Resolution XI.8 Appendix B). Four categories of Inland Wetland types cover the different sorts of peatlands, and data on these wetland types is compiled in national wetland inventories:

U –      Non-forested peatlands; includes shrub or open bogs, swamps and fens;

Va –    Alpine wetlands; includes peat-forming alpine meadows waterlogged soils;

Vt –     Tundra wetlands; includes peat-forming tundra meadows with waterlogged soils; and

Xp –    Forested peatlands; includes peat swamp forests;


How can Contracting Parties contribute to the GPA

Parties are invited to contribute relevant information for the GPA, including:

  • information about national policies/policy frameworks and regulations relevant to peatlands protection, management or restoration; as well as  
  • case studies of peatland restoration projects.

This will be taken into consideration in the preparation of the assessment report.

Please share such information with the Secretariat at, by 16 August 2022.

Parties will also shortly be invited to review the second order draft GPA report. The Secretariat expects to share the draft assessment report and further with Parties during the coming week.

The Secretariat will continue to engage in the GPA process, including to explore the possibility of providing updates in a side event during COP 14 in November 2022. Further information will be shared in due time.


  • GPA process
  • GPA update April 2022


Ramsar Logo      
Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
28 rue Mauverney, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel. +41 22 999 0365; fax +41 22 999 0169