07.06 - 09.06.2017  
Honolulu, USA
Contact person:
David Beilman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Date change!

The C-PEAT (Carbon in Peat on Earth through Time) working group will hold a workshop, titled "TropPeat: Low-latitude peat-forming ecosystems: past, present, future" in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, from 7-9 June 2017 (originally scheduled for March 2017).


The venues for this open workshop will be the East-West Center's Hawaii Imin International Conference Center and the University of Hawaii's Lyon Arboretum.

Accommodation will mainly be at the Hilton Waikiki Beach.

The number of participants will be limited to 25-30.


Peats are an important player in the Earth system, today and in the past, as the most carbon-rich soils and near-surface deposits active in atmosphere-biosphere exchanges. In the 2013 IPCC report, peatlands have been recognized by the international climate science community as one of the single greatest influences on carbon-climate feedbacks on Holocene timescales. The large size and high sensitivity of peat carbon pools in the Arctic has been relatively well studied for decades, but Tropical peatlands, particularly those outside Southeast Asia, have received very little attention. This is despite the size of the tropical peat carbon pool, the unique biodiversity supported by these ecosystems, and the pressures and rapid changes being imposed on them currently. We know that low-latitude peats are at the intersection of our densest human population, rapid land use change, and tropical climate variability. But it has become acutely evident that, as society tackles problems associated with their rapid alteration and destruction, we know far too little about their distribution, properties, and sensitivity/resilience.

This international workshop will focus on low-latitude peatlands to bring together experts from both developed and developing countries with expertise in these under-studied ecosystems. Our overall goal is to bring together datasets and expertise and initiate a synthesis product that will collate peat data in one place for the Earth System Science community. In particular, we will compile data on peat distribution throughout the Tropics (including but expanding beyond Southeast Asia), available biogeochemical information on peat properties, and identify significant knowledge gaps that can help guide research priorities over the next decade. Because this will be a first Tropics-wide peat workshop, our effort is very timely and will facilitate research coordination between groups during the next several years.

In 2015, a launch workshop for the C-PEAT WG was conducted at Columbia University, New York, USA, which was the first workshop following the inception of the WG in June 2014. This workshop would be among the next activities of the WG. The impetus for this TropPeat workshop is a direct result of the success of the C-PEAT WG launch, and the enthusiasm of the participants.


The program will be finalized by the organizing committee asap.

Planned products

The TropPeat workshop is product-oriented. We will synthesize published and unpublished information on low-latitude peatland distributions and properties and write a compilation synthesis paper with all participants and data providers as co-authors. This initiative follows previous success of the C-PEAT WG synthesizing Arctic data (i.e. Loisel et al. 2014, Holocene 24: 1028).


Researchers with an interest and ability to contribution to any of the workshop topics and goals are invited to attend. This group will consist of international experts and early-career researchers as well as local participants from Hawaii. A focus will be on early-career scientists (new faculty, postdocs, PhD students).

To apply, email the event organizer David Beilman (details below) by 5 May (originally advertised as 17 February), including a letter outlining your reasons for wanting to attend and a CV.

The organizing committee will decide on final attendees based on the potential contributions to the objectives and a balance of relevant experience.

Financial support

Some funding is currently available, and will be prioritized to support the travel of early-career scientists and those from developing countries. When applying, please state if you require support and the reasons why.

Further information

Contact David Beilman, Department of Geography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.