WETLANDS as a natural solution against CLIMATE CHANGE
North-West Europe – Wetlands are the key to help us mitigate Climate Change!
Today one third of the global CO2 emissions are caused by drained and/or burned peatlands for agricultural use. There is an urgent need for sustainable alternatives and innovative business models for farmers and land managers on rewetted peatlands.
The Carbon Connects Interreg project (CConnects) aims to reduce 50% of the unnecessarily high CO2 emissions caused by traditional practices on agricultural peatlands. CConnects promotes alternative practices of wet agriculture to protect the farmer and the environment against environmental consequences of climate change. In low lying peatlands this can be done by raising water levels and introducing alternative crops and /or livestock adapted to wet conditions. Examples are Cattail and Reed, which can be used as low carbon construction materials, bio-fuels and animal feed. The cultivation of peat moss could prove an interesting alternative for the production of growing substrates for horticulture, which currently is a huge consumer of turf. In the UK the aim is to work with farmers and landowners to return upland peat bogs to the best possible ecological condition, maximizing carbon storage. Connects will work with a wide range of stakeholders (local authorities, research institutions, farmers, and landowners ) to conserve and enhance wetland ecosystems by reducing emissions by about 1600-3200 ton per year on pilot sites across N-W Europe with a total surface of around 80 ha.
To facilitate this transformation in land use, CConnects develops new business models including the application of blue and Carbon-credit schemes to enable widespread implementation. These innovative business models will be implemented on 8 pilots in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, UK and Ireland, jointly representing all peatland types across North-West Europe.
A Carbon Connnects’ transnational Farmer-2-Farmer learning programme will allow land users to directly share and scale experiences, while actively targeting new adopters with a transnational online toolbox of state of art land use and farming practices.
Additionally, a set of policy papers will be drafted with the objective to adjust European rural policies in favor of paludiculture in North-West Europe.
World Wetland day www.worldwetlandsday.org
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