For World Peatlands Day five EU transnational projects exploring innovative measures to save our peatlands have released the Peatlands Across Europe: Innovation and Inspiration guide outlining their experiences and recommendations. Authored by Bax & Company, with contributions from Carbon Connects, Care-Peat, DESIRE, LIFE Peat Restore, and CANAPE, the document aims to pave the way for future action on peatlands.
Despite being carbon storage powerhouses, biodiversity champions, and important for climate change adaptation and mitigation, peatlands are in trouble. Across Europe they have been drained and degraded. These damaged sites become significant sources of carbon emissions. Although only 15% of the world’s peatlands have been degraded, this 0.4% of the world’s surface area contributes to more than 5% of CO2 emissions.
To have a significant impact, future peatland projects need to build on what has come before and avoid reinventing the wheel. Including state of the art practical solutions to peatland restoration, business models, GHG assessment techniques, and outlining the policy actions essential for progress, the guide is a must read for decision makers and peatland managers looking to scale up action on peatlands.
As we enter the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, it is crucial that we ensure peatlands are protected, restored, and sustainably managed now and for our future. Peatlands are our largest terrestrial organic carbon stock, and if we are to meet our global goals and commitments, we must work hard to understand, protect, restore, and sustainably manage these vital ecosystems. The Peatlands Across Europe: Innovation & Inspiration Guide is a valuable step towards that reality – it captures important recommendations, shares the cutting-edge experiences of peatland restoration pioneers, and identifies gaps, priorities and lessons from across Europe that can be taken up by peatland practitioners around the globe.