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Watch the wet

Youtube-video on peatlands and their potential for climate protection

1/12/2015   Draining a peatland area the size of a football field releases as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as driving three times around the world in an average sized car. Learn more about peatlands as carbon sinks, threats to their carbon storage function by drainage and promising examples of rewetting in the youtube-video “Peatlands – climate regulation and biodiversity“ by the Nordic Council of Ministers.


Peatlands on the UNFCCC-Agenda in Paris

Side events on restoring and rewetting

1/12/2015  Lecturing at two side events GMC-expert Hans Joosten will be part of the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris.

At the high-level panel debate "Safe the Peat for Less Heat" organised by Wetlands International, GMC and other partners, Joosten will talk about "Peatland issues, potential and options for climate mitigation" at 1st December 15:15-16:15 o'clock at the Netherlands Climate Pavilion. For more information please see the "Briefing paper: accelerating action to Save Peat for Less Heat!"

The UNFCCC side-event ’Reducing GHG emissions by restoring and rewetting peatlands‘ is organized by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCMR)at Wednesday 2nd December 2015 between 12.15 - 13:45 o'clock at the Nordic Pavillion Hall 2B. Joosten’s lecture on ’The role of drained peatlands in GHG emissions and opportunities for accounting under the new activity ’Wetland Drainage and Rewetting‘ under the Kyoto Protocol‘ is one of the side event’s eight contributions.


Wetland Energy Closing Conference

New pelletline on the ground, new paludiculture-projects in mind

17/11/2015   Surely, the highlight of the EUaid funded Wetland Energy project's closing conference from 17th-18th November in Minsk/Belarus was the opening of the new processing line for pellets made of biomass from fens at Lida. It proved, that the project, which was mainly coordinated by the Michael Succow Foundation, successfully transferred knowledge and resulted in implementation on the ground. Here the conference's "Conclusions and perspectives" click here for the programme of the closing conference. Ahead of the conference the project held a workshop on "Biomass harvest and greenhouse gas balance of wet and rewetted fen peatlands". For an article on the project and its closing conference go to Настаўніцкая газета (Belarussian only).



German Environmental Award

Michael Succow honoured for lifetime achievement

Federal President Joachim Gauck presents the “DBU - Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award” to Michael Succow (Photo: DBU)08/11/2015  The German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) has bestowed GMC member Prof. Michael Succow with its “Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award”. The German Federal President Joachim Gauck presented the award at the award ceremony in Essen at 8th November 2015. As Deputy Minister for Environment, Nature Protection and Water Management of the GDR at the time of great political change in Germany Succow did grasp the historical chance for nature protection. He and his fellows managed to have the "Programme of National Parks" adopted in the very last concluding session of the GDR-Council of Ministers in 1990. Thus, 12.1% of the former GDR were put under temporary and 5.5% under permanent protection. For this coup Michael Succow received the Right Livelihood Award and used the endowment as a basis for his foundation. In the 20 year long history of the German Environmental Award the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award was granted only five times. It was for example bestowed upon Michail Gorbatschow and Prof. Heinz Sielmann.


Buckwheat cultivation earlier than thought

Finds of pollen from prehistoric times

The notion is widespread that buckwheat (Fagopyrum) first arrived in Europe in the Late Medieval through trade with the Middle East. Yet, there are numerous finds of pollen and seeds of much earlier time, as research team from the State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe and Greifswald University (Greifswald Mire Centre) announced in a press release. The experts studied these finds and conclude that it is very likely that buckwheat was present already in Prehistoric times. These finds were recently published in the scientific journal “Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology”.


How the palm oil industry might go green

GMC-experts among scientists setting standards

01/08/2015  GMC-experts are among 50 scientists who are currently drafting the new "High Carbon Stock Study" supposed to make the palm oil industry switch to more sustainable ways. They are defining which sort of lands should be considered off-limits for palm oil cultivation, as for example and first and for all, peatlands. The study commissioned by the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto group met high media coverage including reports of The Economist , nature , Reuters/yahoo news and The Economist/youtube. The spread of oil-palm plantations in recent years has destroyed swathes of tropical forest in low-lying tropical areas of south-east Asia and Africa, releasing much of their trapped carbon into the atmosphere, chasing off indigenous communities and putting migrant workers under appalling conditions. To set green standards GMC-member Dr. Alexandra Barthelmes, in charge of the GMC's Global Peatland Database, contributed to the Practical guidance to locate and delineate peatlands and other organic soils in the tropics. Prof. Hans Joosten is member of the Technical Committee and co-author of the main report.



Paper now in English

01/08/2015  New – the English publication “MoorFutures” has now been made available online by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. “MoorFutures” are the world`s first voluntary carbon credits from peatland rewetting developed with the expertise pooled in the Greifswald Mire Centre (GMC). The pilot project demonstrates how additional ecosystem services including biodiversity can be integrated into financing mechanisms for climate change mitigation.


Guardian reports on "Swamp power"

How the world’s wetland can combat climate change

20/07/2015  After touring paludiculture projects in Germany and Poland guided by experts of the GMC Guardian-correspondent Arthur Neslen now issued his report on peatland rewetting, paludiculture and climate change mitigation. For an entertaining read on all aspects between reed crop and Ramsar Convention go to Swamp power: how the world's wetlands can help stop climate change.


Paper in Nature Climate Change

Indicators for climate change in the tundra

09/07/2015   Data from 37 sites in 9 countries were collected by Prof. Martin Wilmking (Greifswald University) and other researchers to find sound explanations for climate sensitivity of shrub growth in the tundra biome. Climate sensitivity of growth was greatest at the boundary between the Low and High Arctic, where permafrost is thawing and most of the global permafrost soil carbon pool is stored. The results have now been published in the paper „Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome“ in Nature Climate Change. This work will improve future projections of climate change impacts across the tundra biome.


Open for public comment

Palm oil industry present a draft synthesis report

3/7/2015   A Draft Synthesis Report of a „High Carbon Stock Study (HCSS)“ of the palm oil industry is now online and open for public comment. This study on carbon stocks is commissioned to independent experts to make the upcoming massive expansion of palm oil cultivation in Southeast-Asia as well as West- and Central Africa ecologically more sustainable and socially more compliant. The protection of carbon sinks in vegetation and soil is one of the key issues. GMC member Dr. Alexandra Barthelmes is in charge of the GMC's Global Peatland Database and contributed to a report on practical guidance to locate and delineate peatlands and other organic soils in the tropics. Prof. Hans Joosten is member of the Technical Committee and co-author of the main report.