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Many peatlands, but there's room for more

Action Programme for Natural Climate Protection

28/10/2022 Peatland protection as a nature-based solution for effective climate protection is extensively considered in the Action Programme Natural Climate Protection (ANK), states the Greifswald Mire Centre in contributing to the German Environmental Ministry's online dialogue on this programme. But there is still some room for improvement. Here is a summary of the most important points:

  • The target of 5 million t CO2 eq. annual reduction from peatlands by 2030, which is also set in the Peatland Protection Strategy, is still too low. This is less than 10% of the current annual peatland emissions of 53 million t CO2.
  • The framing should change. Germany's peatlands are currently predominantly (85%) used for agriculture or forestry. The term "renaturation" suggests a natural development unaffected by humans after rewetting and the possibility of returning the peatlands to their former condition. In Germany, neither of these is possible. Therefore, the terms "rewetting" and "restoration" are more appropriate. These formulations express that the ANK also includes new, sustainable uses for peatlands.
  • The ANK can educate more people about peatlands and build long-term structures at federal, state and municipal level. In addition to voluntary measures, it should also make adjustments to planning and regulatory law, thus enabling common engagement of participating authorities at work level for a comprehensive landscape assessment.

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