Resolving peatland management and conservation dilemmas through implementation of the ecosystem approach

Edward Maltby

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Invited Papers

Tullamore, Ireland

climate-change, ecosystem-approach, peatlands, poverty-alleviation, tools, water-quality

Maltby 2008: Resolving peatland management and conservation dilemmas



The relevance is examined of the Ecosystem Approach (EA) to resolving the dilemmas of peatland management and conservation. This analysis is made against the backdrop of the exceptional features of peatland which includes the provision of benefits traditionally ignored in decision-making. Three cutting edge issues: climate change, water quality deterioration and poverty alleviation are used to set the context for consideration of each of the twelve principles underpinning the EA. There is no shortage of comprehensive guidance for the integrated and ‘sustainable’ management of peatland resources. What is required now are more simple, easy to use, tools, based on hard scientific and other technical evidence, amenable to economic analysis and convincing to decision-makers.