Viewpoint: A stronger Society – doing the right things

Japan – Welcome to the IPS! It was great to receive the news that the Japan Peatland Society was established on October 9 at Hokkaido University, along with a humble request to be accepted as the Japanese National Committee of the IPS.

This request was acknowledged only three weeks later when the IPS Executive Board, during its 70th meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, decided to authorize the Japanese National Committee as of 1 January 2014. A warm welcome!

Getting members from as many of the world’s peatland countries as possible is crucial for us. It is a prerequisite for our commitment to work for the responsible management and wise use of peatlands and peat, wherever they are located. Moreover, a solid and wide member base helps us focus on the right things.

Most of the work in the IPS is done in our Commissions and we are now in the process of forming one more to add to the nine already established. This addition, Commission X on Peatlands and Climate Change, means continued and increased efforts by the Society in this key topic. In other words – here we keep doing the right thing!

A strengthening of our work force is also done by a modified Commission structure, so that a larger number of individual members can become active IPS officeholders. Both Commissions and Working Groups within these need Chairs and Vice Chairs.  If you who read this are willing to work with us in your field of expertise, then please contact the Commission Chair!

Also individual and corporate members from China and Argentina have recently been included in the IPS family. This is very gratifying and further supports our aim to provide a platform for all stakeholders of peat and peatlands in all world regions. We want all interest groups on board.

At the same time, this aim is our greatest challenge. We would like your help to cope with it. The direction is crystal clear and expressed in our Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management (SRPM). Implementing the SRPM is a most demanding task, but rewarding – and the right thing to do.

My viewpoint? We are getting stronger – and stronger is better!

Björn Hånell
IPS President

To order printed copies of the Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management for free email us at


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