Lobby, campaign or demonstrate to protect peatlands
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 2
Background information and definitions
Lobbying or peaceful demonstrations could put pressure on projects that threaten peatlands, preventing them from occurring or minimizing their impact. This section considers campaigns targeted at organizations such as businesses or governments. Specific actions include demonstrating on site, writing letters and social media campaigns.
The Peatlands Campaign Consortium was formed in 1990 by 10 UK conservation organizations. Its overall aim was to protect UK peatlands of conservation importance, with a focus on (a) on reducing peat extraction and use and (b) raising awareness of the importance of peatlands and the threats they face. Campaigning involved meetings with businesses, parliamentary debates, publishing reports and leaflets, organizing seminars, establishing a National Bog Day and placing education volunteers in garden centres (Rawcliffe 1998).
Key peatland types for which this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: raise public awareness about peatlands.
Rawcliffe P. (1998) Environmental Pressure Groups in Transition. Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study of peatlands in the UK (Barkham 1993) reported that following a campaign involving multiple individual events, one new area was protected for conservation, seven large businesses changed their purchasing and marketing behaviour to reduce peat extraction, and over 300 organizations signed voluntary agreements to protect peatlands. Within three years of campaigning, protection was granted to 365 ha of peatland (with protection of another 1,134 ha in discussion). Four major retailers stopped buying compost with peat mined from protected areas. Three horticultural companies began marketing non-peat compost alternatives (e.g. coconut fibre compost). Voluntary peatland conservation agreements were signed by 250 garden centres and 51 local governments. The study qualitatively reports some other changes in behaviour, attitudes and awareness. The campaign was run by the Peatlands Campaign Consortium, whose activities included meetings with businesses, debates with governmental organizations, and public awareness-raising (see Background section).Study and other actions tested
A study of peatlands in the UK (Alexander et al. 2008) reported that following pressure from the Peatlands Campaign Consortium, a major peat extraction company donated 3,000 ha of peatland to the English governmental nature conservation body. Campaigning began in 1990 and the peatland was donated in 1992. The campaign was run by the Peatlands Campaign Consortium, whose activities included meetings with businesses, debates with governmental organizations, and public awareness-raising (see Background section). The study does not report how the campaign was related to the donation.Study and other actions tested