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100% Aquatic Warbler

Aquatic Warbler Consweration Handbook

New handbook summarises ecology, management and conservation

14/04/2018 For twenty years the Aquatic Warbler Conservation Team (AWCT) is putting its effort into the threatened peatland species and there is quite some reason to celebrate. The team has compiled the Aquatic Warbler Conservation Handbook which was launched at the 20th anniversary celebration 12th-15th April in Brodowin (Germany). The book summarises the current knowledge on ecology, habitat management and conservation of the Aquatic Warbler including contributions of two GMC and long-term AWCT members – Franziska Tanneberger and Cosima Tegetmeyer. The AWCT is a small and informal network of experts for this mire species from almost all range countries – and a success story: Founded in 1998 in Brodowin by Martin Flade, who is its chairman until today, it promoted a Memorandum of Understanding for the protection of the globally threatened Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola) under the Bonn Convention (CMS), which was signed in 2003. The team has initiated 8 EU LIFE projects targeting the species’ conservation as well as numerous other projects. Annual AWCT expeditions to breeding or wintering sites are a tradition since the very beginning and help to form a dedicated, inspiring team.


Towards better reporting of emissions

EUKI workshop discussed organic soils as cross-cutting issue

06/04/2018 Greenhouse gas emissions from drained organic soils are among the largest sources from the Agriculture and LULUCF sectors in many European countries. However, reporting of drained organic soils to the UNFCCC is for many EU countries inaccurate and not fully compatible with the latest IPCC guidance. As a result, emissions reduction potentials related to organic soils are poorly addressed. The short-term project ‘Improving national GHG inventories for organic soils and mitigation potential of wet land use’ (INVESTIGATE) is funded by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) to network and prepare further activities to tackle scientific and technical issues with respect to reporting GHG emissions. At a workshop in Greifswald 5th/6th of April 2018, peatland and national inventory experts from Finland, Danmark, Latvia, Ireland, Romania and Germany discussed recommendations for improving national inventories with regard to organic soils. It is planned to jointly prepare further research and policy activities at the EU level.


Brazzaville Declaration

Brazzaville declaration signed (Photo: Hans Joosten)

Ministers align for protection of the Congo Basin

23/03/2018 Good news for the protection of tropical peatlands at the Third Meeting of the Partners of the Global Peatlands Initiative 21st-23rd March in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo): Ministers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo and of Indonesia signed the Brazzaville Declaration for conservation and sustainable use of the world’s largest tropical peatland in the Congo basin. The peatland complex is estimated to be larger than England and to hold about 30 billion tonnes of carbon. This equals more than 15 years of carbon dioxide emissions from the United States. Moreover, the Congo basin is important for the region’s ecological stability and biodiversity. The Greifswald Mire Centre co-organised the meeting as a steering commitee partner of the Global Peatlands Initiative.
The photo shows from left to right: Mr. Amy Ambatobe Nyongolo (Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Democratic Republic of Congo), Arlette Soudan-Nonault (Minister of Tourism and Environment, Republic of Congo), Siti Nurbaya Bakar (Minister of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia), Erik Solheim (Executive Director, UN Environment)


De la fumée sur l’eau

Cover: De la fumée sur l’eau (Global Peatland Initiative)

GPI report now in French

23/03/2018 'De la fumée sur l’eau': The Global Peatlands Initiative's report 'Smoke on Water' is now available in French. A first copy was presented to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Congo Clément Mouamba during the Third Meeting of the Partners of the Global Peatlands Initiative 21st-23rd March in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo). The Greifswald Mire Centre provided substantial text, various graphs, maps and the vast majority of illustrations from peatlands worldwide.


1 Mio US$ Indonesian Peat Price

Turf extraction on Borneo (Photo: Tilmann Silber)

Consortium with Greifswald Mire Centre wins!

02/02/2018 Spectacular news for the scientists of the Greifswald Mire Centre at today's World Wetlands Day: The Indonesian government is awarding the Indonesian Peat Prize, endowed with 1 Mio US$ - and the Greifswald Mire Centre is part of the winning research consortium.

„The price gives credit to our work at the international level. It is evidence for the consortium's capacity and a chance for research, conservation and sustainable use of peatlands in Indonesia and worldwide." said Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Joosten, peatland ecologist at the Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology at Greifswald University. In Indonesia Joosten and his team are analysing greenhouse gas emissions, mire development and land use of peatlands since 2006.
Large scale and intensive farming of palm oil and pulp wood causes large problems in Indonesia. Extensive areas were drained for these monocultures. The consequences are degradation, land loss, extremely high greenhouse gas emissions and devastating peat fires. Over the last years these fires have caused thousands of deaths and gigantic damages within the country and the neighbouring regions. The Indonesian government is fighting the climate damaging effects with an ambitious programme, of wich the Indonesian Peat Prize is a part of.


„Walking in paludi wonderland“

Cattail for christmas (@Greifswald Moor Centrum)

Have fun with the GMC’s Christmas carol

20/12/2017  Here the GMC’s little Christmas present to all peatland lovers: Escape the christmas routine with John Couwenberg’s lyrics for “Winter wonderland“! The Greifswald Mire Centre wishes fun, a nice Christmas and a happy new year!


Peatlands drained, used for cropping
Ditches deep, will need blocking
Rewetting the site, we’re happy tonight
Walking in a wet paludiland


Let’s reduce gas emissions
Novel crops, new ambitions
Let’s make the land whole, and substitute coal
Walking in a wet paludiland


Want to continue? Here the complete lyrics.


First paludiculture strategy

Cover "Landestrategie Paludikultur für MV" 2017

Minister and GMC present strategy for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

13/12/2017  Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is pioneering in peatland conservation for decades and more than 26,000 ha have been rewetted in this federal state in Northeast-Germany. Now the state has also a strategy for the implementation of paludiculture on agriculturally used peatlands. The strategy builds on the peatland conservation strategy (2009) and summarises state of the art knowledge on paludiculture, a selection of particularly well suited forms of paludiculture for this region, and necessary next steps for implementation. Maps depicting peatland areas suited for paludiculture are globally unique. The strategy has been prepared by the Greifswald Mire Centre in collaboration with representatives from agriculture and nature conservation and was launched by minister Dr. Till Backhaus 12th December 2017 in Schwerin. 

Global Landscape Forum

Panel on peatland protection at the Global Landscape Forum 2017 (Photo: Dianna Kopansky)

Side event hosted by UN Environment and GMC

13/12/2017  Peatlands are vital fort the global landscape but extremely threatened by degradation. Peatland experts such as Dr. Alue Dohong (Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency) and Prof. Hans Joosten (GMC) will share their knowledge at a side event at the Global Landscape Forum in Bonn at 19th December 2018. Under the title „Smoke on water – Countering global threats from peatland loss and degradation“, findings and recommendations from the recently launched Global Peatlands Initiative report Smoke on water will be presented. The Greifswald Mire Centre hosts the side event together with UN Environment at the World Conference Center Bonn (Landscape Pavilion) at 9:00-10:30 am.


Setting course for EU peatland policies

CINDERELLA workshop at Brussels

13/12/2017   “Setting the course for EU policies on peatland climate mitigation” was discussed at a workshop 6th December 2017 in Brussels. Jointly organised within the projects CAOS - climate smart agriculture on organic soils (Thünen Institute) and CINDERELLA (Greifswald University, partner in the GMC) it was another step to better integrate peat soils into the EU policy framework. With representatives from farmers associations, NGOs, research, European Commission (both DG Agriculture and DG Environment), business sector and national administration there were diverging positions. Some participants stressed the importance ofpeatland utilisation for food production and sovereignty. The GMC representatives pointed out effects and perspectives of EU policies on peatlands, underlined that greenhouse gas emission reduction is currently insufficiently addressed, and promoted alternative paludiculture crops like cattail for building materials.


Smoke on Water presented on COP23

Rapid Response Assessment against peatland loss and degradation

15/11/2017   Titled Smoke on Water – countering global threats from peatland loss and degradation the Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI) presented the „UNEP Rapid Response Assessment“ at COP23. The report describes how to localise, manage and conserve the remaining peatlands worldwide. The Greifswald Mire Centre – partner in the Global Peatlands Initiative – contributed substantial expertise e.g. data and pictures of the Global Peatland Database. Presenting the report at the high level side event, Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, said that it is absolutely crucial that peatlands are protected and that the carbon is kept safely in the ground.” Tim Christophersen (UN Environment), Ibrahim Thiaw (UN Environment Deputy Executive Director) and Siti Nurbaya Bakar (Minister of the Environment of Indonesia) stressed the significance of intact peatlands for climate protection and the importance of rewetting. Prof. Hans Joosten of the Greifswald Mire Centre put it in a nutshell: "Keep peatlands wet, if drained rewet them, if you use them, use them wet!“
More details in the UNEP press release Smoke on water – countering global threats from peatland loss and degradation.