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Peatland pavilion, peatland map, Michelle...

Without the protection and rewetting of peatlands, the global climate crisis cannot be countered. Peatland experts from Greifswald were able to make this clear to delegates, politicians, celebrities, practitioners and scientists from all over the world at the two-week World Climate Conference (UNFCCC COP26) from 31st October to 12th November in Glasgow. They are optimistic that the new knowledge about these climate protection potentials will now be incorporated into the policies and actions of many countries.

At the World Climate Conference in Glasgow, peatlands were presented for the first time in a separate pavilion organised by the Succow Foundation and the Greifswald Mire Centre together with the UN Environment Programme, IUCN UK Peatland Programme and other members of the Global Peatlands Initiative. The world peatland map developed at the Greifswald Mire Centre attracted visitors directly at the entrance. The twelve-day hybrid lecture programme offered a comprehensive overview of peatland science, protection and policy on all continents. Prominent visitors such as the former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme Inger Andersen, numerous ministers and other government representatives, as well as known environmental journalists such as Chris Packham of the BBC came by.

"Hundreds of delegates and observers to the Climate Change Convention looked at our huge peatland map. Many countries don't even know they have peatlands. Their representatives are taking away from Glasgow that peatlands are important for climate protection. Our presence here was as effective as peatlands are as carbon sinks." said Dr. Franziska Tanneberger, Director of the Greifswald Mire Centre. A special highlight was a water drop made of reeds and willow built by peatland experts from the University of East London, in which a sofa was placed - probably the most popular seat in the whole pavilion. This construction was an impressive eye-opener for many visitors as to what building materials from paludiculture can be used for.

The Succow Foundation and the Greifswald Mire Centre as a whole organised many events in the hybrid Peatland Pavilion e.g. "Organic Soils and Peatlands in the Baltic States: Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures and Paludiculture" on 8th November, "Peatland Protection in Germany" and "Peatlands in the Nile River Basin as a Nature-Based Solution" on 10th November, and the launch of a European Peatland Protection Initiative on 12th November. The Greifswald Mire Centre - with a large format printout on site and Dr. Alexandra Barthelmes as speaker in Greifswald - presented the world peatland map on 9th November.

The virtual Peatland Pavilion, which is in English, will continue to be available online to interested parties with multifaceted information on peatlands worldwide even after the World Climate Conference.

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