News/All pieces

A new push for Aquatic Warbler Conservation

Aquatic warbler conservation in Lithuania (Photo: Zymantas Morkvenas)

Salvation of the globally threatened mire bird not yet given up

13/07/2017  The beginning of July could symbolically be called a new begin for aquatic warbler conservation. Experts from six countries met in Zuvintas (Lithuania) to discuss practicalities of a new method for aquatic warbler conservation - translocation. As Martin Flade, the Chairman of International Aquatic Warbler Conservation Team (AWCT), pointed out, there is much more good-quality habitat than area occupied by the bird. In some areas the population is so small that it could not recover itself naturally. During a currently running LIFE project , it is planned to transfer aquatic warbler juveniles from Belarus to Lithuania. According to Zymantas Morkvenas, director of Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania and project manager of the LIFE project, the main goal is to test the technique that later on could help to save other small populations in other countries. The Scientific Advisory Board includes representatives of International Aquatic Warbler Conservation Team (AWCT), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), University of Cambridge, Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (OTOP), Greifswald Mire Centre (GMC), "Earthmind", Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, Zuvintas Biosphere Reserve Directorate, and Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania. The current status and perspectives for conservation of the small Pomeranian population will be discussed at a Polish-German meeting 21.07.2017 in Criewen.


Kick-off for CLEARANCE

Estimating values of wetland buffer zones

12/07/2017  Evaluating costs and benefits of Wetland Buffer Zones including market and non-market values is one task of the recently started interdisciplinary EU project CLEARANCE. Wetland buffer zones are wetlands located between the agricultural land and aquatic ecosystems, capturing nutrient-rich runoff water before it reaches rivers and lakes to reduce nutrient loads in surface waters at water-land interface. Consortium partners are, together with Greifswald University, Kiel University, two universities in Warsaw (Poland), Aarhus University (Denmark), Nijmegen University (the Netherlands) as well as the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) Berlin as well as a German and a Polish NGO. From 2017 until 2020 scientists will assess values related to recreation, biodiversity, nutrient removal, biomass utilisation, etc. on catchments in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. CLEARANCE will deliver knowledge on multifunctional wetland buffer zones and raise awareness in all partner countries.


Peatlands matter!

Focus on peatlands at Global Landscape Forum

19/05/2017  The Global Landscape Forum at 18th May was fully dedicated to peatlands! With the slogan “Peatlands matter!” the event aimed to bring together local and global policymakers, stakeholders and private sector interests in order to identify landscape-level solutions. It also intended to accelerate measurable action on the ground in negotiating conflicting land use demands in these vital ecosystems.
The international audience discussed ways of peatland conservation, restoration and sustainable use in paludiculture. The event had 425 people attending in Jakarta as well as over 1,000 views of the event livestream and 5,000,000 people reached through Twitter. Peatlands matter and they must be wet!


Brand new and all about Europe’s peatlands

Mires and Peatlands of Europe

New book of the Greifswald Mire Centre

10/05/2017 After more than 25 years of preparation, the long expected book Mires and peatlands of Europe is now available. This book provides – for the first time in history – a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of mires and peatlands in biogeographic Europe. Written by 134 authors, the book describes mire and peatland types, terms, extent, distribution, use, conservation, and restoration individually for each country and integrated for the entire continent. Complemented by a multitude of maps and photographs, the book offers an impressive and colourful journey, full of surprising historical context and fascinating details, while appreciating the core principles and unifying concepts of mire science. The publication of this book was coordinated for the International Mire Conservation Group by the Greifswald Mire Centre. The publication was co-sponsored by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), University Museum, Trondheim, Norway.


Global Peatland Initiative at Climate Conference

New book "Mires and peatlands of Europa" presented at SBSTA-side event of the GPI

Side event at 9th May in Bonn

09/05/2017  The book Mires and peatlands of Europe came hot off the press when it was launched at the side event of the Global Peatland Initiative (GPI) at the Climate Change Conference in Bonn 9th May 2017. The side event provided an opportunity for governments, institutions, stakeholders and partners to exchange on advancing efforts to protect peatlands and was jointly organised by UN Environment, FAO, the Ramsar Convention, Wetlands International and GMC. The three editors of the book - Hans Joosten, Franziska Tanneberger (both GMC) and Asbjørn Moen - handed over the first copy of the book to Nur Masripatin, Director General for Climate Change for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, highlighting major lessons from Europe how to deal wisely with peatlands to avoid further degradation. This feeds perfectly into the vision of enhanced south-south-north exchange under the GPI, discussed during an interactive panel discussion chaired by Hans Joosten. Especially ‘newcomers’ in the peatland community like panel member Joseph Badevokila, national focal point to the UNFCCC of the Republic of Congo, were delighted by the vast experience and knowledge among the partners of the GPI. The side event paved the way to the upcoming negotiations in the land use sector under the UNFCCC and the upcoming Global Landscape Forum: Peatlands matter in Jakarta on 18th May.


World Migratory Bird Day

Greifswald Mire Centre offering excursion

05/04/2017 2017 Just outside of Greifswald the Karrendorfer Wiesen provide a splendid location for bird watching at World Migratoy Bird Day! The Greifswald Mire Centre is inviting birdlovers on a guided tour to see long-distance migrants such as the sedge and the reed warbler, wheatears, redshanks and avocet. Back from their wintering grounds in sub-Sahara Africa they breed there in reeds, on the salt meadows and the shore area. Waders such as wood sandsnipers and dunlins might also be spotted on their way further North. Apart from that there are skylarks and greylag goose. The salt meadows of Karrendorfer Wiesen do not ony present a rare breeding habitat for migratory birds. After its restoration this coastal flood peatland serves as wave breaker. Its vegetation slows erosion of the shore zone and promotes sedimentation. Thus it contributes to the stability of the flat coasts of the Baltic Sea. After flooding, natural waterways ensure rapid drainage. In addition, coastal flood peatlands are significant carbon sinks and therefore important for climate protection.


Mandatory accounting for managed wetlands

New policy paper with Wetlands International and Birdlife

05/04/2017 Wetlands International European Association, Greifswald Mire Centre and Birdlife jointly stress the need for a regulation which takes into account all land use categories to reflect what “the atmosphere sees”. Thus it is of utmost importance to agree for a mandatory accounting for managed wetlands. The European Parliament and Council currently debate on how to include greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) into the 2030 EU climate and energy framework. Read the full paper!


30 good reasons to safeguard peatlands!

New Ramsar peatland portal with GMC contributions

30/03/2017  "30 good reasons to safeguard peatlands!" are freshly assembled in a Ramsar Convention policy brief. It compiles the results from the international workshop “Peatland Conservation and Wise Use in the Context of Climate Change” held at the International Academy for Nature Conservation on the Island of Vilm (Germany) in September 2016. Moreover all presentations of the workshop, including four contributions of the Greifswald Mire Centre, and an extensive workshop documentation are available now on the new peatland web portal of the Ramsar Convention, highlighting the importance of peatlands.


DISQOVER workshop

Land cover reconstruction from pollen data


From 7th – 10th September the GMC offers the 2017 DISQOVER workshop on methods of quantitative land cover reconstruction from pollen data. The workshop introduces and discusses these methods and will then focus on implementation of the methods in R. Following an introduction, we will explore the capabilities and critical parameters of each method. The number of participants is limited to 15.
For more information and contact, please contact Dr. Martin Theuerkauf (martin.theuerkauf(at)uni-greifswald(dot)de).


Peatlands in EU's policy framework

Report just published


The project Peatlands in the EU Regulatory Environment analysed the impact of political and legal framework conditions of the EU on peatlands and organic soils in the Member States. Poland and Estonia served as as exemplary Member States and the effects were assessed in much detail in two case studies. The concluding report is now available for download from the website of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). It has been prepared by Jan Peters (Greifswald Mire Centre) and Moritz von Unger (Silvestrum).
Further information on the project offers the website of the German Environment Agency (UBA).