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C-PEAT workshop: Recent carbon accumulation: peatland processes and ecosystem services

Online meeting
Workshop report
Contact person
Julie Loisel
E-Mail address
Working groups


Date: 8-12 May
Locations: Hybrid meeting with three hubs - Indonesia (Pontianak, West Kalimantan Province), Poland (Adam Mickiewicz University), USA (Houston, Texas A&M University). The three hybrid hubs will work face-to-face in different time zones, but come together too at specific times. 
Time zones: USA: GMT-7 / Poland: GMT+2 / Indonesia: GMT+7
Access: Please make sure to sign up to the C-PEAT mailing list:
> Workshop booklet


This workshop will allow us to present global paleo data on recent carbon (C) accumulation and discuss different methods to quantify the recent past rate of peat formation and whether peatlands are expected to remain C sinks or are become C sources under current and projected climate and land-use (LU) changes. Modelers will present outputs directly comparable to our paleo data, as a way to jumpstart discussions across the community for model validation.

Partnering with the United Nations‘ Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI). They will advertise this workshop to their vast network of scientists and practitioners. GPI scientists will also take part in the workshop as invited guest speakers. Lastly, this workshop will provide training and networking opportunities for early-career scientists.  

Overall, the workshop aims to be interdisciplinary and bring together the paleo community, modellers and stakeholders to learn lessons from the past and recent changes that could help us understand and manage the fate of peatlands in the future. This fits within the aims of developing a more integrative place for the C-PEAT working group within the PAGES’ science structure through consideration of the effect of humans on peatland functioning, in order to inform adaptation strategies and specific solutions for policy makers and resource managers.


The agenda will be shared by all 3 hubs and there will be 1 daily session (2 hours) where the 3 hubs will be "live" together. 

Day 1: Focus on tropical peatlands.
Days 2-3: Focus on recent (past ~100 years) of peat accumulation
Day 4: Recap of C-PEAT's work thus far (the group has been around for almost a decade already!) and we will also pick participants' brains about a strategy/research agenda for the years to come.
Day 5 : Field trip

During days 1-2-3, you can expect a mix of guest talks, group exercises, and focused work towards manuscript ideas, figures, and/or text. 

The main topics of discussion will include:

  • Tropical Peatlands (talks and discussions on key unknowns and challenges)

  • Recent Peatland Dynamics (some key questions include how to compare recent vs. past C sequestration; how important is recent peat dynamics for land management)  

  • Peat Paleo Proxy Database (update)

  • Future Directions (conclusion)

We intend to have experts from different fields (e.g., paleo, gas flux, remote sensing, modeling), from most peat-rich regions of the world, and present "fundamental science talks" as well as "applied talks".  

The group is working on a booklet that contains all the information you need to navigate all the talks and discussions, including each hub's detailed schedule, talk abstracts, lists of speakers, and connection details (via Zoom) for those who wish to watch the talks and/or participate in the group discussions live.

Note 1: the booklet is not complete as of now (status 2 May), but you are invited to browse it and mark your agenda for the talks and discussions you don't want to miss! We don't anticipate major changes to the schedules.

Note 2:  all the talks will be recorded and shared, such that you can either "attend live" using Zoom and/or choose to watch the talks on your own time. Of course, the discussions will only be "live"; we do not intend to record them. 

Note 3: the workshop is open to all! You do not need our permission to attend the talks or discussion groups. You are also welcome to share the link to the booklet with your research groups, colleagues, and others as you see fit.

We will be working on community products (i.e., manuscripts) and new research ideas throughout the workshop; see the hub schedules for more details. Co-authorship will be offered to remote attendees (as well as in-person attendees) who contribute to the discussions during and/or after the workshop, and who help with data collection/analysis, writing, etc. Here I just wanted to make it clear that we care about remote participants' contributions to the discussions we will have. You are all a part of this great group of scientists, even if you could not join in person. 


Our funds will cover lodging and food, and we have limited funding for transportation (priority will be given to early-career and/or developing-country scientists). We are receiving funding from NSF, PAGES, INQUA, and IGCP. 

More information

To receive zoom links and any information about the workshops, please make sure to sign up to the C-PEAT mailing list:

Visit Carbon in Peat on Earth through Time (C-PEAT) working group website here.

Post meeting material

Here is the final workshop booklet, which includes schedules, participant info, abstracts, the recorded talks, and more. If you wish to download the booklet, email Nicole ( (sanderson[dot]nicole[at]uqam[dot]ca)) for authorization.