Investing in nature: Developing ecosystem service markets for peatland restoration

Aletta Bonn*, Mark S. Reed, Chris D. Evans, Hans Joosten, Clifton Bain, Jenny Farmer, Igino Emmer, John Couwenberg, Andrew Moxey, Rebekka Artz, Franziska Tanneberger, Moritz von Unger, Mary Ann Smyth, Dick Birnie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


To meet the challenge of proactive ecosystem-based climate mitigation and adaptation, new sources of funding are needed. Peatlands provide the most efficient global store of terrestrial carbon. Degraded peatlands, however, contribute disproportionally to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with approximately 25% of all CO2 emissions from the land use sector, while restoration can be cost-effective. Peatland restoration therefore provides a newopportunity for investing in ecosystem-based mitigation through the development of carbon markets. Set in the international policy and carbon market context, this paper demonstrates the necessary scientific evidence and policy frameworks needed to develop ecosystem service markets for peatland restoration. Using the UK and NE Germany as case studies, we outline the climate change mitigation potential of peatlands and how changes in GHG emissions after restoration may be measured. We report on market demand research in carbon market investments that provide sponsors with quantification and officially certified recognition of the climate and other co-benefits. Building on this, we develop the necessary requirements for developing regional carbon markets to fund peatland restoration. While this paper focuses on the UK and German context, it draws on international experience, and is likely to be directly applicable across peatlands in Europe and North America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-65
Number of pages12
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon markets
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Ecosystem based mitigation and adaptation
  • Payments for ecosystem services
  • Peatland
  • Restoration


Dive into the research topics of 'Investing in nature: Developing ecosystem service markets for peatland restoration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this