On the 3th of September 2019, our request to travel outside the North-West Europe region was granted for the purposes of attending a Conference ‘WETSCAPES’ on peatland restoration in Rostock Germany from the 10th – 13th of September 2019. Representatives from Care-Peat were Niall Ó Brolcháin (NB) and Terry Morley (TM) – NUI Galway. Here is a summary of some of the events and outputs.
Summary of Events and Contributions to Care-Peat:
- On the 10th of September, NB met with leading experts on peatland policy, including Hans Joosten, Franziska Tanneberger, Gerald Jurasinski, Marcel Silvius and John Couwenberg to discuss improvements in peatland policies throughout the region and across the EU. They provided information in relation to existing carbon credit schemes for peatlands in the EU and internationally.
- On the 10th September, TM gave a scientific talk on peatland mapping and discussed the objectives of the Care-Peat project to conference attendees.
- The Care-Peat project poster and leaflets were displayed to all attendees including many from the North-West Europe area throughout the duration of the conference.
- Visits to pilot sites involving paludiculture and peatland restorations.
Summary of Outputs:
- The meetings with the peatland experts led to the establishment of an EU peatland policy working group which included representatives from Care-Peat. This working group is tasked with finding key people relevant to peatlands to assist in developing peatland policy and to ensure peatland restoration for carbon benefit is targeted for the next EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reform.
This has directly led to the involvement of project partners (NB) in attending the European Parliament in Brussels as part of a task force to develop peatland related policies within the CAP reform. Discussions are ongoing with MEPs. There have also been discussions with the European Commission and representatives of some member state Governments. On the 2nd to 4th of December 2019, NB and others including Franziska Tanneberger of the Greifswald Mire Centre and Lea Appulo of Wetlands international met with members of EU Parliament from the Environment Committee and the Agriculture Committee along with their advisors. These included Mick Wallace MEP, Clare Daly MEP, Grace O'Sullivan MEP, Mairead McGuinness MEP, Peter Jahr MEP, Billy Kelleher MEP, Matt Carthy MEP, Manuel Bompard MEP, Sheila Ritchie MEP, Martin Buschmann MEP and Anja Hazekamp MEP.
- The presentation regarding the Care-Peat project was given to over 150 attendees of the conference which include leading researchers in peatlands throughout Europe. This elicited much interest in our project and resulted in further discussions with other EU projects toward cooperative workings (e.g., CANAPE).
- Display of Care-Peat project materials. We have added outreach to one conference boasting over 150 representatives throughout Europe, North America and internationally. All peatland related researchers.
- Demonstrations from leading experts in paludiculture. On 11 September we toured various experimental pilots directly related to meeting our deliverables. In many cases we had been lacking evidence of success for the business case examples for paludiculture. However, completed pilots by the Greifswald Mire Centre and the University of Rostock provided examples of how farmers may make use of paludiculture to enhance peatland restorations for carbon benefits. For example, the Greifswald Centre is one of the leading Universities in peat propagation.