Conference and documentary highlight need to protect peatlands and bogs

Wed, Oct 10, 2018

Burns Bog once covered 10,000 to 12,000 acres. Today, with industrial development and agricultural use, only 5,000 acres remain in the ecological conservancy area. Overall, peatlands cover less than three per cent of the Earth’s surface.

To help understand why peatlands are important, KDocs, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s documentary film festival, is presenting a special screening of Metamorphosis: Tale of a Wetland on October 12. 

The screening is part of the Peatlands for People Revisited conference by the Burns Bog Society and hosted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University from October 11 to 13. 

“The goal was to find a film that would deepen the dialogue amongst the conference-goers outside of their formal sessions,” says Greg Chan, KPU English instructor and KDocs community outreach director.

“KDocs strives to be the catalyst for discussion, debate, and social change, which is why it has partnered with KPU and the Burns Bog Society for this conference.”

The conference brings together educators, students and scientists, government representatives and the public to learn more about Burns Bog and other peatlands. The speakers share their knowledge about peatlands and wetlands, while local and international scientists talk about their research.

“These important ecosystems help us in the fight against climate change. With more extreme weather events happening worldwide, it’s never been more important to save them,” says conference coordinator, Nathalie Scott-Hsiung.

She says this is an opportunity to teach post-secondary students why Burns Bog is important and how climate change is affecting the largest raised peat bog on the West Coast of North America.

KPU biology instructor Lee Beavington, alumnus Shania Carter and Mark Robertson from the Burns Bog Society will lead a panel discussion following the screening of the documentary. The keynote speaker for this event is Dr. Paul Richard, instructor and chair of the environmental protection technology program at KPU. Documentary producer Bryan Maltais will also be taking questions about his film.

For more information about KDocs, visit

For more information about the Peatlands for People Revisited Conference, visit