EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Feb. 20, 2014) - Peatlands in Canada's boreal forest are being brought into the spotlight with a new agreement between Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA). The memorandum of understanding focuses on not only sharing research and knowledge about responsible peatland management between the two organizations, but also raising the profile and awareness of valuable peatlands. The agreement is set for five years, with the possibility of a five year extension.
Also known as bogs or fens, peatlands are peat-covered wetlands characterized by a high water table and vegetation such as sphagnum mosses (peat moss), black spruce trees, and various other types of shrubs and mosses. Most of the boreal forest's wetlands are peatlands, making them a vital part of protecting the precious region.
Due to deep organic deposits, bogs and fens store large amounts of carbon and help to moderate climate change. In fact, Canada contains one-third of the world's peatlands and 40% of the global terrestrial carbon stores. Peatlands also help prevent downstream flooding by absorbing precipitation and run-off, and provide habitat for many species including the threatened woodland caribou. On a global scale, Canada's peatlands are relatively intact but are witnessing greater levels of human impacts which put them at risk.
"This partnership is another important piece of protecting and managing the boreal forest," says Kevin Smith, national manager boreal programs for DUC. "Together, we will seek out opportunities to collaborate and cooperate to support sustainable resource-based industry practices and maintain the function of these important peatlands in Canada's boreal forest."
"The Canadian horticultural peat industry is pleased to be working in partnership with Duck Unlimited Canada to promote the responsible management of peatlands within the Boreal Forest," says CSPMA president, Paul Short. "This alliance will provide a sharing of research, establishing balanced policy and applied practices that together will advance peatland management across North America."
CSPMA is an association of peat moss producers and related Enterprises devoted to promoting the sustainable management of Canadian peatlands and the industry. CSPMA provides support and advocacy for its members and leadership in environmental and social stewardship and economic well being related to the use of Canadian peatland resources. Learn more at peatmoss.com.
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at ducks.ca.