Project Summary

3% of the world’s land surface is covered by Peatlands, which are large concentrations of organic matter having accumulated over centuries. They store 2x as much carbon as all of Earth’s standing forests. Europe contains 265,000 km2 of various peatland types and if dried out, will go from being a carbon sink to a massive, unstoppable carbon emitter. This is the current cause of one third of global CO2 emission. However, these effects on climate change are moslty ignored.

Carbon Connects (CConnnects) will reduce C02 emissions by 50% in agricultural peatlands where traditional practices have unnecessary high emissions (20-40ton C02/ha/y). The land practices drain and strip peatland for energy use, crop production, and animal husbandry. CConnnects will promote an alternative practice of wet agriculture land use that reduces carbon by raising water levels, introducing new crops (eg. Cattail, reed), and isolating carbon in land outputs (biomass, building material). CConnnects will also develop financially viable business models by developing value chains & use blue and C-credit schemes to enable widespread implementation and scaling-up without public subsidies.

CConnnects delivers 8 pilots of 3-10ha in NL, FR, BE, UK, IE, jointly representing all peatland types in NWE. Solutions are scalable in NWE to 4,500,000ha peatlands (Larger than NL). CConnnects can reduce 90-180M ton emissions in NWE, equivalent to removing 40-80 million cars. CConnnects’ transnational Farmer-2-Farmer learning programme allows land users to directly share and scale experiences, while actively targeting new adopters with a transnational toolbox of state of art land use and farming practices. CConnnects has all 6 NWE peatland countries each with 10-20% of the budget, with 50% of budget for purely transnational activities of international innovation and network partners and for the innovative transnational exchange programme. Partners are from government, business, research and landowner groups.

Check out our project VIDEO


Project Partners

  • Province of North Brabant

    1 Brabantlaan
    Den Bosch
    5216 TV

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  • The Rivers Trust

    Rain-Charm House, Kyl Cober Parc, Stoke Climsland
    Callington, Cornwall
    United Kingdom

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  • Flanders research institute for agriculture, fisheries and food

    72 Gulden Vlieslaan

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  • European Landowners Organization

    67 Rue de Trèves

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  • Association of the Chambers of Agriculture of the Atlantic Area

    1 Maison d’agriculture, Rue P.A. Bobierre – La Géraudière

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  • Philipps-University Marburg

    10 Deutschhaustraße

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  • Limerick Institute of Technology

    Moylish Park

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  • Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Science

    26a Larensteinselaan

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Lead partner

Organisation Contact name Address Email Website
Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Science Toine Smits 26a Larensteinselaan
Name Contact Name Email Country
Province of North Brabant Frank Van Lamoen Netherlands
The Rivers Trust Rob Collins United Kingdom
Flanders research institute for agriculture, fisheries and food Frank Stubbe Belgium
European Landowners Organization Marie-Alice BUDNIOK Belgium
Association of the Chambers of Agriculture of the Atlantic Area Pascal Dagron France
Philipps-University Marburg Markus Hassler Germany
Limerick Institute of Technology Seamus Hoyne Ireland
Wear Rivers Trust Martin Colling United Kingdom
North Pennines AONB Partnership Paul Leadbitter United Kingdom


Carbon Connects aims to reduce the high carbon footprint of peatlands soils in Northwest Europe by introducing new bio-based business models developed for sustainable land management practices.
The business models enable the capturing of carbon in bio-based products which are marketed to different sectors such as construction and energy.
Carbon credit schemes are also enabled by ‘sealing’ the ground where CO2 no longer has the chance to dissolve.


The Netherlands, Germany, France,Belgium, Ireland and the UK are building living labs, collaborating to share best practices and establish transnational potential for up-scaling.
These countries have an average pilot area of 100,000 m2 each (10ha). Carbon can be stored in alternative crops, suitable for wet conditions (eg. cattails, reeds, willow, cranberry and peat moss).
These crops are processed to create sustainable bio-based construction materials, fuel sources or foo


By implementing the business models, Carbon Connects will:

  • Generate a Farmer-to-Farmer learning program to share best practices in each region by peers.
  • Develop a set of policy papers to scale up the required agricultural policy shift in NWE and EU.
  • Create an online collaborative living lab platform to have joint plan development and implementation of wet agriculture.
  • Set up an online toolbox of state of the art land use practices and business models to share knowledge.


Carbon Connects will reduce CO2 emissions with about 90-180 tonnes per year, in its pilot stage alone. Viable businesses are created that tackle climate change and give protection against environmental issues.
The partnership will create an ecosystem with local authorities, research institutions, farmers, and landowners to strengthen collaboration and make the region more resilient to climate change.

Carbon Connects Presentation


The first Carbon Connects meeting took place in Eidenhoven, Netherlands between 23rd and 25th July 2018.

 Here's the link to the Introduction Presentation

Restoring NW European peatlands through sustainable building material, by Aldert van Weeren

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