Geerd Smidt

Gerald Schmi­lew­ski is new Pre­si­dent of the IPS

Inter­na­tio­nal Peat Con­gress in Malaysia

In August 2016, the 15th Inter­na­tio­nal Peat Con­gress took place in Malay­sia. Gerald Schmi­lew­ski was elec­ted new Pre­si­dent of the Inter­na­tio­nal Peat­land Socie­ty (IPS).

The IPS holds an Inter­na­tio­nal Peat Con­gress every four years, and the Exe­cu­ti­ve Board and Pre­si­dent are elec­ted at the same inter­vals. This year, Gerald Schmi­lew­ski, who is mem­ber of the “Sus­taina­bi­li­ty Manage­ment” divi­si­on at Klasmann-Deilmann, was up for elec­tion and was appoin­ted new President.

The Inter­na­tio­nal Peat Con­gress pro­vi­des a plat­form whe­re repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from the fiel­ds of sci­ence, poli­tics and indus­try can exchan­ge ide­as and infor­ma­ti­on about high­ly diver­se aspects of the topics of peat­land and peat­land uti­li­sa­ti­on. The event also enjoys an excel­lent repu­ta­ti­on with envi­ron­men­tal and cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion orga­ni­sa­ti­ons. This was the first time that Asia had been cho­sen to host the event, which took place at Kuch­ing in Malaysia.

The Con­gress was an unqua­li­fied suc­cess: atten­ded by more than 1000 dele­ga­tes from more than 30 dif­fe­rent coun­tries, it attrac­ted a hig­her num­ber of peop­le than ever befo­re. The event inclu­ded lec­tures, semi­nars and pos­ter pre­sen­ta­ti­ons on various topics, such as bio­di­ver­si­ty, natu­re con­ser­va­ti­on, peat reser­ves, peat­land res­to­ra­ti­on and eco-sys­tem manage­ment as well as socio-eco­no­mic aspects of peat and peatland.

With 1486 mem­bers from 35 coun­tries (figu­res dated 31 Decem­ber 2015), the IPS is the world’s lar­gest inter­na­tio­nal asso­cia­ti­on for topics rela­ting to peat bogs. The uni­que achie­ve­ment of this NGO is that it brings tog­e­ther repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from the sec­tors of natu­re con­ser­va­ti­on, tra­de and indus­try as well as science.