What if I told you there’s a powerful climate solution out there that we keep forgetting about?

That’s right: peatlands.

These unique ecosystems cover just 3 to 4 percent of the Earth’s land area, but they store an astonishing one-third of the world’s soil carbon – twice as much as in all of the planet’s forests combined.

Yet despite their critical role, peatlands are being lost and degraded at unprecedented rates, threatening the stability of their carbon reservoirs and the livelihoods of millions of people worldwide.

On 6 June, we at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) will bring together experts, practitioners and policymakers from all over the world to explore solutions and action for this crucial landscape.

Join us at GLF Peatlands 2024: The Climate Solutions We Forgot online or in Bonn, Germany, alongside the Bonn Climate Change Conference. Tickets are free for everyone to attend online – grab yours here.

Here are six of our favorite peatland heroes you’ll meet on 6/6.

Vera Songwe

Vera Songwe is a global leader in sustainable development, known for her diverse roles in finance, climate resilience and policy advising. As chair and founder of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility (LSF), she spearheads initiatives to promote financial stability and climate resilience.

Through a distinguished career at the United Nations and the World Bank, Songwe has led efforts to advance economic integration and private sector development in Africa. Recognized for her influential contributions, she co-chairs expert panels on climate finance and has authored transformative reports on environmental financing.

With a PhD in mathematical economics and a wealth of experience in international economics and policy, Songwe continues to shape the global discourse on sustainable development.

Emmanuela Shinta

Emmanuela Shinta is a Dayak leader, activist and environmentalist renowned for her work in empowering young Indigenous people. Specializing in youth environmental activism and Indigenous digital storytelling, she has trained over 180 Indigenous filmmakers and mobilized a youth movement to combat forest fires in Borneo.

As the founder of the Ranu Welum Foundation and the International Indigenous Film Festival Network, Shinta’s impact extends globally. Her memoir, Me, Modernism, and My Indigenous Roots, chronicles her journey as an Indigenous woman amidst industrialization and environmental destruction, highlighting her path to activism.

Jochen Flasbarth

Jochen Flasbarth has served as State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development since December 2021.

From 2013 to 2021, he was State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. He previously held the position of President of the Federal Environment Agency for four years.

Flasbarth holds a degree in economics from the Universities of Münster and Bonn.

Bethany Copsey

Bethany Copsey is a young soil scientist and creative practitioner deeply engaged in environmental activism. She finds her balance by working for RE-PEAT, a collective advocating for a paradigm shift in peatland management, while simultaneously studying planetary poetics at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

Copsey is actively involved in RE-PEAT’s latest campaign, Peatland Justice, which focuses on the pivotal role of peat in horticulture. Her dedication to both scientific inquiry and creative expression underscores her commitment to reshaping our relationship with the environment.

Daniel Murdiyarso

Daniel Murdiyarso is renowned for his pioneering work in land use change, biogeochemical cycles and climate change. With a PhD in meteorology from the University of Reading, he serves as a principal scientist at CIFOR-ICRAF and a professor at Bogor Agricultural University.

Murdiyarso’s leadership at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including as a convening lead author, underscores his commitment to advancing climate science. Recognized by the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, his influence extends far beyond academia, shaping environmental stewardship and climate action worldwide.

Berioska Quispe

Berioska Quispe is a biologist with a master’s degree in science and management for climate change and ecotourism. She has 10 years of extensive professional experience in climate change and forest management at the Ministry of the Environment of Peru, where she currently serves as general director of climate change and desertification.

Berioska has significant expertise in greenhouse gas mitigation, REDD+ implementation and policy development for carbon neutrality. She is well-versed in land use, land use change and forestry and greenhouse gas inventories.

With a strong track record in multi-stakeholder participation and a deep understanding of national and international climate frameworks, she excels at forest carbon, mitigation potential analysis and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Want to learn more about peatlands? Check out our recent explainer, and get your free ticket to GLF Peatlands here.

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