All peatlands in M-V rewetted by 2050!
State press conference on peatlands and climate in M-V
28/07/2020 All peatlands in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (M-V) are to be rewetted by 2050, Dr. Till Backhaus, Minister for Agriculture and Environment, stated during at state press conference “Peatlands in M-V and their importance for climate protection targets" on 28th July in Schwerin. According to the fact paper Peatlands in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the context of national and international climate protection targets – status quo and development potential (German only) presented by the Greifswald Mire Centre - the federal state could enable a huge potential for climate protection. Peatlands cover about 13% of its land area. The drained peatlands currently cause almost 30% of the state's total greenhouse gas emissions. Every minute an average of 11 tonnes of CO2 are emitted into the atmosphere from the drained peatlands - considerably more than the carbon sequestration of the entire forest area in M-V. The preparation and implementation of peatland rewetting and paludiculture as an alternative source of income concerns departments in several ministries. An inter-ministerial working group shall therefore promote peatland climate protection in M-V. For more information see the press release (German only) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Why the Romans called peatlands “famicose”?
A mix of peatland ecology, philology and veterinary science solved the riddle
22/07/2020 The ancient Latin word "famicosus" occurs in the dictionary of Marcus Verrius Flaccus (approx. 55 BCE - 20 CE), the tutor of the grandchildren of Emperor Augustus, but cannot be found in any other traditional text. An extraordinary combination of peatland ecology, philology, and veterinary science has now been able to unravel its meaning: "Famex" denotes swellings of hooves of ungulates. These are caused, for example, by the bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorum. It often occurs in wet or moist habitats such as peatlands where hooves soften quickly, making them susceptible to microbial infections. The consequences can be hoof and claw diseases like interdigital dermatitis, bush rot, scald or footrot. Read more in the article by the scientists of the Greifswald Mire Centre and the State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe.
CAP ‘gamechanger’ webinar
60 minutes, online, fully booked
04/06/2020 At 3rd June the Greifswald Mire Centre hosted a webinar on “Peatlands in the new CAP: potential and synergies for sustainable regional economies with climate and biodiversity benefits” organised jointly with Wetlands International – Europe and National University of Ireland. It raised awareness on the potential to mainstream EU climate, biodiversity, water quality and rural income objectives by effectively addressing peatland conservation, restoration and sustainable use (paludiculture) in the new CAP and other EU policies. Dedicated to MEPs, EC’s officials, farmer organisations, practitioners, NGOs and academics the 60 min webinar was fully booked. See the GMC's youtube channel for the full webinar contributions in one playlist.
GMC takes you where the peatland is
Join our session at PeatFest 31st May
29/05/2020 At 31st May peatland lovers worldwide – artists, activists, scientists and others - contribute to a 24 hour online peatland festival, the PeatFest of the activist's group re-peat.earth. At 12:45 (CET) the peatland scientists and conservationists of the GMC show their engagement for #Peatlandsmustbewet or #Moormussnass. They take you to five different places – drained and/or restored peatlands or paludiculture pilot sites. See why we cultivate typha and peat mosses… Hear about drainage damages and greenhouse gas measurements... Come with us to the beautiful Baltic coastal peatlands! And – follow Swantje Furtak on her way discovering peatlands and paludiculture. With tangy ideas and lovingly crafted animations the young filmmaker created a lively film – and path for others to understand why peatlands must be wet. There is no chance to miss out – all films will be available on our youtube channel, also after the PeatFest.
Save the date: RRR2021 conference
On renewable resources from wet and rewetted peatlands
28/05/2020 In the light of the Paris Agreement and the necessity to reduce all anthropogenic CO2 emissions globally to net zero around the year 2050, peatland rewetting and innovative land use concepts for wet peatlands are an important contribution to achieve the goal. Thus, the GMC hosts the 3rd International Conference on the Utilisation of Wetland Plants, the RRR2021 - Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands from 9th-11th March2021 in Greifswald. It includes an international conference, excursions, as well as technical exhibitions. We invite you to submit an abstract for oral or poster presentation until September 15th 2020. Abstract submission will open in August. Note of acceptance will be given until October 31st 2020. If a presence event is not possible due to Corona restrictions, the conference will be held in a digital format. See www.rrr2021.com for conference details and subscribe via email@example.com for conference updates.
Estonian president visiting
EUKI project informs about peatland utilisation and its role in agricultural and climate policy
22/05/2020 On May the 21st the Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid visited peatland restoration sites in Estonia. At this occasion the Estonian Nature Fund, partner in the EUKI - project “Paludiculture in the Baltic States”, handed over a merged document of an Estonian translation of the GMC position paper on Peatlands and the EU CAP after 2020 and the Paludiculture Policy Brief that was compiled within in the EUKI project. Kersti Kaljulaid pleaded for the rewetting of abandoned peat mining sites for carbon storage and restoration of valuable habitats for peatland species.
Peatlands in the education
Suggestions for business game, excursion and peatland flat
04/05/2020 Only what you know you can protect. That is why it is so important to explain to even the youngest children what peatlands are and what importance they have. In her master's thesis Peatlands in the Education for Sustainable Development in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at the University of Greifswald, Tabea Feldmann conducted a status quo analysis. Using the example of the peatland Mannhagener Moor near Greifswald, she demonstrated the possibilities of implementation and showed how peatlands can be taken into account in school curricula. The peatland case developed by her offers numerous suggestions to bring children, families, pupils and adults closer to peatlands. Since knowledge transfer and education about peatlands is an important concern of the Greifswald Mire Centre, it now makes the material available as part of its proceedings (in German).
New map of peatlands in Germany
Now for download in the Proceedings of the GMC
04/05/2020 The Greifswald Mire Centre compiled an up-to-date map on the current distribution of peatlands in Germany. The Aggregated Map of Organic Soils in Germany is also freely available as a GIS data download. It’s area-specific data can now be used, for example, to plan trans-federal climate and nature conservation measures in peatlands. The Greifswald Mire Centre developed the map with help of responsible administrative institutions of the individual federal states within the MoorDialog project. It was published as the first volume of the Proceedings of the Greifswald Mire Centre in 2020 (in German).
Postponing rewetting will warm climate for centuries
GMC-scientists warn in nature communications
02/04/2020 The positive climate effects of peatland rewetting are determined by the long-term avoidance of carbon dioxide, not by the emission of methane. A research team from the Universities of Rostock and Greifswald shows this in the article Prompt rewetting of drained peatlands reduces climate warming despite methane emissions in the scientific journal nature communications. According to the scientists rapid action is therefore needed to promptly rewet global peatlands. The longer this is postponed, the greater the climate damage.
The team of the WETSCAPES project comes to this conclusion by analysing the worldwide unique data collection on peatland area and land use of the Global Peatland Database of the Greifswald Mire Centre. The scientists investigated the effects of various land use scenarios in a simulation analysis. They calculated the quantity and climate impact of the individual greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere in annual steps up to the year 2100.
Peatlands and CAP
New position paper to keep digital contact
24/03/2020 Instead of meeting Members of European Parliament today – one of the many events cancelled due to the current Corona pandemic – GMC together with many partners distributed a new position paper on peatlands and the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The main target is to facilitate the new environmental ambitions of the Post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and to create coherence between agricultural and climate policies by safeguarding and stimulating the preservation of carbon-rich soils through protection of peatlands. The paper summarises current knowledge and lists solutions and recommendations, and has been compiled together with more than 20 research institutions and NGOs from across the EU. The event in European Parliament, which was to be hosted by MEP Peter Jahr and MEP Michal Wiezik and organised jointly by the Greifswald Mire Centre (GMC), the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Baltic Sea Region Studies (IFZO), the National University of Ireland Galway and Wetlands International, can be hopefully held later this year.