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On International Wetlands Day 2.2.2022

The bog side of Greifswald

27/1/2022 Salt pan, coal ditch, swinging soil and peat in your teeth - for the International Wetlands Day on 2 February, people at Greifswald can get to know the bog side of the city on their own. The new brochure “Peatlands near Greifswald” by the Greifswald Mire Centre and the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald offers two tours through this landscape, which is (mostly) not scary, but incredibly important for climate protection on our doorstep and worldwide. On a free guided tour starting at 4 p.m. in the Steinbecker Vorstadt polder peatland specialist Christina Lechtape and the municipal peatland manager Annie Wojatschke will explain why. The meeting point is the "An der Bleiche" pumping station near the harbour bridge. The brochure "Peatlands near Greifswald" is available as a download or for a nominal fee of one euro at the city information office, the city library and the Greifswald bookshops.

In the urban area of Greifswald there are approx. 472 ha of peatlands, which are mainly drained and cause approx. 7,600 t CO2-eq. per year. An enormous burden for the city's climate balance, but at the same time a great potential for reducing emissions. Greifswald has recognised this and last October hired Germany's first municipal peatland manager. That way, local peatlands can be revitalised with further positive effects for the surrounding area.

The 2nd February 2022 is not a date to be taken lightly - on the contrary: This year, World Wetlands Day (WWD) will be celebrated for the first time as an international day recognised by the United Nations. Since 1997, it has drawn attention to the importance of wetlands, including peatlands, every year on 2nd February. Back then in 1971 the Ramsar Convention was adopted, it is the international agreement to protect wetlands. However, since then, 35% of wetlands have been further destroyed by pollution, agriculture, overfishing, among other things. Wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests. Conservation and restoration actions urgently need to make up for the loss. "Wetlands Action for People and Nature" is therefore the motto of this year's WWD.

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