Wise Use of peatlands can be described as the uses of peatlands for which reasonable people now and in the future will not attribute blame.
IPS has developed a framework for Wise Use to resolve conflicts between different values and uses of mires and peatlands. Overall, the major – anthropocentric – conflicts which arise with respect to peatland use are between those who wish to develop mires and peatlands for their production or carrier functions, and others who wish to preserve them for their regulation and non-material life-support functions. (Joosten & Clarke, 2002, Wise Use of Mires and Peatlands)
The International Peat Society (IPS) and the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG) believe that wise management of peatland ecosystems requires a change in approach from single sector priorities to integrated, holistic planning strategies involving all stakeholders, to ensure that consideration is given to potential impacts on the ecosystem as a whole.
The challenge is to develop mechanisms that can balance the conflicting demands on the global peatland heritage to ensure its continued wise use to meet the needs of humankind.
Therefore we have set up the following three key challenges for the future:
Firstly, we must improve our knowledge of the role of peatlands in influencing global climate, ecology and the local and national economy.
Secondly, we must enhance society’s awareness and understanding of these important roles.
And thirdly, we must develop integrated planning strategies involving all stakeholders to guarantee a future in which these important areas are managed rationally and wisely.
Practical Application of Wise Use
In 2005, a process was started to develop guidelines on how to implement the principles described in “Wise Use of Mires and Peatlands” in companies, environmental agencies and government bodies. It is planned to publish such guidelines for general use of peatlands, for agriculture, forestry, horticulture, peat extraction and tropical peatlands.
Wise Use Book
Wise Use Book
In November 2002, the IPS together with the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG) published a book “Wise Use of Mires and Peatlands – Backgrounds and Principles including a Framework for Decision-makers” (WUMP) edited by Donal Clarke and Hans Joosten. The aim of the book is to highlight the nature of peatlands and identify problems resulting from their use. It provides guidelines for all stakeholders interested in peatland management, how to approach the peatland issue in a rational way, making wise decisions on their future utilisation to the benefit of all of us.