News/All pieces

Climate, water, biodiversity in peatlands and floodplains

Cover Leopoldina Report.

Statement of the Leopoldina

27/06/2024 Climate, water, biodiversity - how this is connected in peatlands and floodplains, what condition it is in and how it can be improved - is now summarized in Climate - Water Balance - Biodiversity: For an integrative use of moors and floodplains, the statement published today by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. "Nowhere in Central Europe is biodiversity as high as in these wetlands," says Leopoldina member Prof. Dr. Klement Tockner, Director General of the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung. Near-natural peatlands and floodplains are also essential for preventing flood disasters and reducing CO2 emissions. The statement with supplementary digital dossier emphasizes the need to rewet peatlands and restore floodplains. Both are already enshrined as climate and biodiversity goals, for the EU for example in the Nature Restoration Law recently adopted by the EU Environment Council and worldwide in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The latter provides for the protection and restoration of at least 30% of the world's land, freshwater and marine areas by 2030. The statement now presents options for action to achieve national and international commitments in climate, water and biodiversity protection and still be able to use these areas economically. This includes protecting intact peatlands, switching to paludiculture, rewarding ecosystem services and including the measures in CO2 emissions trading. Twelve scientists from the fields of ecology, biology, hydrology, sociology, agricultural engineering, environmental economics and law were involved - including Dr. Franziska Tanneberger and Prof. Jürgen Kreyling, two scientists from the Greifswald Mire Centre.

What's the problem?

SOM-Card: Rechtsgutachten Cover

New legal opinion reveals obstacles

26/06/2024 With their vegetation and soils, terrestrial ecosystems such as intact peatlands, floodplains and forests are valuable carbon reservoirs and sinks. However, rapid restoration often fails due to legal obstacles. The new report "Legal issues in connection with the rewetting of peatlands" in the GMC publication series provides a comprehensive analysis and shows possible solutions for the implementation of peatland climate protection. The rewetting of peatlands and their sustainable wet use, paludiculture, play a major role in natural climate protection. There are particular obstacles in terms of land availability, planning and approval. The German government's Natural Climate Protection Action Program aims to protect and strengthen these endangered ecosystems - and to understand and remove the obstacles that stand in the way of restoring these valuable areas. The new legal opinion by Prof. Dr. Sabine Schlacke and Prof. Dr. Michael Sauthoff makes an important contribution to this. It was drawn up as part of the MoKKa - Moorland Climate Protection through Capacity Building project, in which the Succow Foundation, the University of Greifswald and the Baltic Sea Foundation are working together. The results of the report will be presented today at the "Fachforum: Natürlichen Klimaschutz beschleunigen - Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen verbessern", jointly organized with the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt in Berlin. The possibilities for implementing the legal policy recommendations will also be discussed.

Peatland research in Brazil and photovoltaics

New Paludiculture newsletter out now

30/05/2024 Huge peatlands, lots to do in peatland research - in the latest issue of our newsletter, Felix Beer takes us to the peatlands of the Brazilian Cerrado. The recently founded PaludiAllianz project also has a lot to do. It aims to ensure rapidly growing demand for paludiculture biomass -now! And - lots of interest in photovoltaics on peatlands! The MoorPV project is taking a close look at the win-win-win for the energy industry, climate protection and biodiversity. Also in the newsletter: Save the date for RRR2025, new MoorAgentur founded, new funding for building with renewable materials.
Not only do we hope you enjoy reading the newsletter, but we would also be happy to receive feedback on the newsletter by emailing communication@greifswaldmoor.de.

Save the Date for RRR2025

Wet landscape. Save the date for RRR2025.

On Global Peatlands Day

02/06/2024 In celebration of this year’s World Peatlands Day, the Greifswald Mire Centre warmly invites you to save the date for the 4th international RRR conference on the Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands. Taking place in Greifswald, Germany from September 23rd to 26th, 2025, the conference will unite experts from diverse disciplines to share insights and experiences and address pressing questions within the field of paludiculture.
In 2024, "paludiculture" marked its 25th anniversary since being called into life, with significant advancements made in practical knowledge regarding rewetting, cultivation, processing, marketing, policy development and awareness-building, but large-scale implementation is still low. This conference aims to unite stakeholders involved in the utilisation of rewetted peatlands, welcoming scientists, landowners and users, administrators, manufactors, artists, designers and policymakers. By fostering cross-sector networks, sharing experiences and knowledge, we seek to bridge the gap between science and practice and together discuss and shape the future of paludiculture.
Through a diverse program including lectures, poster presentations, excursions, and a range of interactive events, we endeavour to facilitate meaningful dialogue and collaboration. Stay tuned for further details, including abstract submission and registration information, which will soon be available on our website. We look forward to your participation! For conference updates please visit our website rrr2025.com, or follow @greifswaldmoor on the GMC’s social media channels.

Afforesting drained peatlands?

No viable option, new GMC paper shows

13/05/2024 Although the EU Nature Restoration Law was wiped off the EU’s trilogue-agenda in March, scientists took a close look on what was suggested as a restoration measure during the negotiations: active afforestation of degraded peatlands. Their conclusion: evidence for long term overall climate benefits is lacking. Their recommendation: the NRL should foster true natural ecosystems wherever possible, particularly where those are demonstrably carbon capture systems.
For the article “Active afforestation of drained peatlands is not a viable option under the EU Nature Restoration Law” peatland professor Gerald Jurasinski with colleagues of Greifswald Mire Centre and other European peatland scientists assembled facts of several studies. In most cases CO2 release from peat soil degradation will likely exceed carbon sequestration in the forest biomass, as the paper pubished in Ambio Journal of Environment and Society states. It is pointing out the severe challenges to measure greenhouse gas fluxes in peatland forests both with airtight chambers and eddy covariance technique. Another point of critique: the studies quoted in favor of afforestation do not describe the situation after afforestation of agricultural fields or cutover peatlands.

No peatlands in Bellevue's Garden?

Yes - at the Environment Week 2024

13/05/2024 There are no peatlands in the garden of Bellevue Palace? That's right, but there will be during the Environment Week on June 4-5.

We from the Greifswald Mire Center, together with the Agency for Renewable Resources, will be demonstrating how important peatland protection is for climate protection - with cattail in the wall and peat moss on the plate - at the Environment Week of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU).

At our stand no. 35, interested visitors can find out how peat moss is propagated in a bioreactor or what a landscape with paludiculture looks like in a model. As a souvenir, you can take home some cress in a home-made press pot - filled with substrate made from paludiculture biomass, of course!

Registration for the event is open until May 15.

But what is the Environment Week? Not quite for a week, but for two days, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the DBU invite environmental and nature conservation organizations and other exhibitors to the park of the official residence to showcase current and imaginative ideas and projects for more environmental, climate and species protection. The show is intended to inspire all participants for a sustainable future. The park will be transformed into a tent city. This year, around 190 exhibitors and more than 70 specialist forums on health, society, the economy, nature conservation, etc. will be taking place.

The Week of the Environment was launched in 2002 by the then Federal President Johannes Rau. Since then, it has been organized together with the Osnabrück-based German Federal Environmental Foundation. This year it is in its seventh edition.

Launch of PaludiAllianz

SOM-Card launch of the Alliance of Pioneers.

Companies for paludiculture

It was end of April, but the beginning for the Alliance of Pioneers: 14 large commercial enterprises from the paper, packaging, construction, insulation and wood-based material industries declared at a kick-off event in Berlin that they would test renewable, regional raw materials from wet peatlands in their production and integrate them wherever possible. According to the joint press release issued by the Michael Otto Environmental Foundation and the Succow Foundation, partners in the Greifswald Mire Centre, which launched the PaludiAllianz in the toMOORow initiative, the aim is to achieve rapidly growing demand for paludiculture in various sectors of the economy. Well-known companies are now among the founding members:

Interest in future paludiculture products in the construction sector has been expressed by prefabricated house manufacturer Bau-Fritz GmbH & Co. KG, the construction group STRABAG SE and OTTO WULFF Bauunternehmung GmbH and Sto SE & Co. KGaA. The companies toom Baumarkt and OBI Group Holding SE & Co. KGaA also consider biomass from paludiculture in the horticulture segment as a supplier of substrates. The retail and service company Otto (GmbH & Co. KG), LEIPA Group GmbH, the WEPA Foundation and, in the area of recyclables management, PreZero Stiftung & Co. KG with OutNature GmbH aim to make paper and packaging more sustainable by adding of paludiculture biomass. Procter & Gamble Service GmbH is involved in the area of consumer goods for household and cosmetics, as is Tengelmann Twenty-One KG with KiK Textilien and Non-Food in the retail sector.
“Development of scalable value chains with paludiculture biomass from rewetted peatlands in Germany in practical cooperation with economic players” (PaludiAllianz) is the detailed title of the project, for which Cem Özdemir, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Nutrition, handed over a funding decision of almost 1.8 million euros over the next three years at Kulturbrauerei in Berlin. As rewetting also offers effective natural climate protection, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke was also a guest speaker at the event.

New GMC publication

Detail of the mapping graphic.

on peatland, law & rewetting

22/04/2024 "Legal framework conditions for the rewetting and use of peatlands - a mapping of fields of action and levers" is the full-length title of the new GMC publication. Above all, it provides a graphic overview of nine fields of action as well as the respective applicable legal bases and political strategies for rewetting and adapted peatland use in the Federal Republic of Germany. The focus is on the federal level. There are text boxes with suggestions as to which political levers could improve or accelerate peatland climate protection- The relevant ministries are conveniently assigned. The GMC publication is intended as a basis for further and more detailed legal analyses.

Methane and rewetting

SOM-Card for film "Why methane emissions do not undermine peatland rewetting (Illustration: Sarah Heuzeroth)

Explained in new film

17/04/2024 This film is troubleshooting this peatland question: What’s the lesser evil - drained peatlands emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) or rewetting causing methane (CH4) emissions? Find answers on:

Do peatlands emit methane? Yes!
Wet peatlands – intact and rewetted - release methane, and the climate-damaging greenhouse gas is also produced when rewetting formerly drained areas. Methane has a much stronger effect on the climate than carbon dioxide , but - remains in the atmosphere for comparably short time.
 
Then better avoid rewetting to prevent methane emissions? What’s the better choice for climate protection?
Addressing the climate crisis requires reducing atmospheric concentrations of all three greenhouse gases relevant to peatlands (CH4, CO2, nitrous oxide (N2O)). Rewetting effectively reduces long-lived CO2 emissions from peatlands to zero effectively and quickly and is therefore always the right choice for climate protection.
 
Can we control methane in rewetted peatlands? Yes!
It is possible to minimise methane emissions by various measures as removing biomass ahead of rewetting, avoiding long-term flooding and rewetting gradually
Want to know more about the role of methane, peatlands and rewetting?
 
Watch the entire film on YouTube. Find more information in our factsheet The role of methane in peatland rewetting.
 
 

Bioreactor, anniversary, investments & more ...

SOM-Card of Paludiculture-Newsletter 1|2024 (Bild: Maria Glaubitz)

Newsletter: new issue

10/04/2024 These topics don't go together? Yes, they do, because hteir all topics of our new issue of the Paludiculture Newsletter. Read about

- what peat mosses have to do in a bioreactor,

- what the provisional failure of the law to save the European Council now means for peatland,

- how the 25-year-old concept of paludiculture is not bogged down at all, but should be celebrated today, and

- why investing in peatlands is worth it

Not only do we hope you enjoy reading this newsletter, we would also be delighted to receive feedback on it. Simply write an e-mail to communication@greifswaldmoor.de.