International Peatlands Workshop: Enhancing Evidence-Based Policy by Developing Core Common Outcomes and Collaborations for Peatland Research and Monitoring

10 - 11 Jul 2019, ITPC c/o CIFOR HQ

There has been significant investment in peatland data collection across the tropics. However, when it comes to looking at the effects of management treatments and restoration, attempts to synthesize the results of research and monitoring have often proved challenging. Inconsistent choices across projects – for example on what measurement, analysis and reporting indicators to use, or what outcomes and variables to focus on – make it difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile apparently conflicting evidence about important processes or practices. Harder still is the task of creating robust syntheses for national and international decision-makers.

There is growing recognition that more consistency is needed across key measuring and reporting outcomes, so they can be compared and synthesized between studies and provide more robust evidence for policy and practice. This will ultimately increase understanding of peatland processes and the effects of land use and restoration, as well as reduce any research waste resulting from the measuring of different outcomes or poor reporting. For these reasons, the medical community now routinely uses core sets of outcomes, but few attempts have been made to do this within the natural sciences. Rather than limit or mandate what can be measured, by reaching consensus on the core outcomes that should be measured and reported on, this workshop seeks to empower researchers and practitioners to voluntarily choose approaches that will be comparable and synthesizable (if this is one of their goals), or to knowingly measure and report differently if there is good reason to do so (e.g. if findings may be of limited use beyond the site in which they were collected).

This workshop will contribute to the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of peatlands, both by coordinating the collection and reporting of core common outcome sets for peatland data, and by building interdisciplinary collaborations across tropical peatlands. This will, for the first time, enable a global synthesis of data and trends, to inform future policy at both national and international levels. Through harmonizing data collection and reporting in ways that can better inform international peatland mapping, monitoring and reporting exercises and national restoration projects around the world, the workshop will make a significant contribution to the sustainability of tropical peatlands.

Workshop objectives:

  • Develop a core set of outcomes and reporting standards for tropical peatland research and monitoring, to enable more evidence-based policy and practice based on evidence synthesis (with a particular focus on Global Peatlands Initiative’s partner countries, Peru, Indonesia, Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Establish collaborative relationships between workshop participants, as a basis for future interdisciplinary and inter-regional tropical peatlands research.

The event is jointly organized and hosted by the Research, Development and Innovation Agency (FOERDIA), Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry and International Tropical Peatlands Center (ITPC), CIFOR, Newcastle University, UN Environment and has been conceptualized with core partners of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI).

For complete information, see the official website.