Peat’s lagging knowledge chain
Lack of understanding of peat is not the weakest link in the chain, say Meine van Noordwijk and colleagues
By Amy C. Cruz
The high emissions of greenhouse gases from tropical peatlands caused by changing their land use have become a problem for policymakers that they can no longer deny, as their own scientists have now confirmed what external critics told before.
The emissions need to be reduced to mitigate the effects of climate change but because of the complex issues involved governments, societies and private businesses are still ‘muddling along’ when it comes to conserving peatlands. The peat models we have so far are as clear as mud.
Given the urgency and political sensitivity, peat and peatlands have become an interesting test ground for understanding the chain that links knowledge with action. Who needs to know, who can act and where is knowledge the weakest link in the chain’s limiting action?
This work is linked to the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry