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Policy Brief Peatland Strategies in Europe


On 28 and 29 October, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of Germany, together with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the Michael Succow Foundation, organised a best-practice exchange workshop on European Peatland Strategies. Experts and peatlands stakeholders from over 12 EU Member States and other European countries took part in the workshop to exchange their knowledge and expertise on both current and planned peatland strategies.

Apart from several interesting presentations, the workshop provided a good platform for discussions and collaboration. During the workshop, participants collaboratively identified important elements in peatland policies and processes that foster best practices in peatland management through aspects of conservation, restoration and sustainable management. Furthermore, the participants tackled the question of how to integrate strategic peatland conservation not just in national strategies, but also at the European level. This provided participants with insight in the barriers and incentives governments face in implementing actions for acceleration of use of Nature Based Solutions, especially for peatlands. Furthermore, UNEP, lead of the Global Peatlands Initiative, took the chance to highlight the opportunity of the newly adopted UNEA4 Resolution on the “Conservation and Sustainable Management of Peatlands”, to upscale and upgrade the ambition of peatland policies globally.

The outcomes of the workshop have been published in the policy brief “Peatland Strategies in Europe: why and how to develop national strategies for peatlands” with some of the main messages being: 

  • “Wet peatlands offer attractive nature-based solutions for various environmental challenges, including climate change mitigation, water regulation and biodiversity conservation. Yet, they are largely threatened or degraded in many European countries.
  • National peatland strategies serve as a basis to identify peatland related objectives and coherent peatland management instruments and measures across sectors.
  • The strategies recognize the cross-cutting effect of sustainable peatland management to reach national commitments to EU regulations and international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, the Water Framework Directive and the Convention on Biodiversity.
  • For a comprehensive strategy, all relevant peatland types and management practices (agriculture, forestry, peat extraction, recreation and tourism, climate change mitigation and nature conservation, water management etc.) should be considered.
  • To prove success and identify necessary adjustments, a monitoring and reporting scheme should accompany the strategies and their implementation measures.”

Eurosite’s Peatland Restoration and Management Group and the Care-Peat project can play a role in collecting and disseminating the best practices in peatland restoration and management and monitoring of their success. Equally so, Eurosite will try to make the connections between the practitioners and their needs and the scientific community.

The Global Peatland Initiative has also published an article about the workshop.