COP26 side event: Canada’s Peatlands as a Nature-based Solution to Climate Change

Thursday, November 11, 2021 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm EST

On November 11, the University of Waterloo is honoured to take part in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK.

From October 31 – November 12, 2021, more than 190 world leaders are expected to arrive in Scotland together with tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks aimed at accelerating action on climate change.

As part of the event, the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI) has created a “Peatlands Pavilion” as a hub to exchange knowledge and experience on peatlands policy, practice, research and innovation. World-wide, peatlands store a vast amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) which can be released through land
disturbances such as fire or drainage.

Maria Strack, professor and Canada Research Chair, Department of Geography & Environmental Management and Fereidoun Rezenezhad, research associate professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, will represent the University at a Peatlands Pavilion virtual side event co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI), the University of Waterloo’s Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) and the Water Institute, entitled “Canada’s Peatlands as a Nature-based Solution to Climate Change”.

“The University of Waterloo is excited to be hosting a COP26 side event to share state-of-the art peatlands science with stakeholders from around the world. Canada’s peatlands represent a significant opportunity to reduce GHG emissions if managed intelligently and cooperatively”. - Maria Strack, professor and Canada Research Chair, Department of Geography & Environmental Management

The side event will explain how and why terrestrial carbon stocks, within Canada and internationally, are a key nature-based climate solution and how peatland management in Canada could result in annual greenhouse emission reductions.

Key outcomes will be presented from an early-2021 UNEP GPI - University of Waterloo national workshop series aimed at i) catalyzing the development of a pan-Canadian, multi-stakeholder peatlands network and ii) identifying key research gaps and priorities to support a national peatlands assessment.

The innovative virtual pavilion provides a window to the public and legacy beyond COP26 to carry the message that the world needs to protect, restore and sustainably manage its peatlands.

“The UNEP-GPI is thrilled to be partnering with the University of Waterloo, including on this COP 26 side event, in supporting knowledge exchange and actions aimed at effectively managing Canada’s huge peatland resource and preventing the loss of these carbon stocks.” - Dianna Kopansky, Global Peatlands Initiative Coordinator @UN Environment Programme

For more information or to register for the event visit the Peatland Pavilion website here.