Integrate peatlands into EU policies
Workshop on better solutions to manage peatlands in the EU framework
23/04/2016 A few months after conclusion of the Paris agreement on Climate Change, a workshop in Brussels on 19th April 2016 addressesd the importance of peatlands and organic soils in the European Union and its Member States for biodiversity and climate change. “Peatland ecosystems are still suffering from the Cinderella syndrome” Professor Hans Joosten (Greifswald University) stated. “They contain disproportionally more organic carbon than all other terrestrial ecosystems and emit enormous amounts of CO2 when drained.” Furthermore, they provide habitats for specially adapted and rare species strictly protected by the EU’s bird and habitat directives. And yet, when it comes to policymaking – climate policymaking, in particular – peatlands remain largely out of sight. This leads to poor protection and conservation.
Within the project Peatlands in the EU Regulatory Environment the Michael Succow Foundation, Partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre (GMC), and Silvestrum have assessed the impact of EU law — on the environment, agriculture, and energy — on peatlands and organic soils in Member States, with special emphasis on case studies for Poland and Estonia. They brought together senior officers from the EU Commission, Member States’ governments, NGOs, research institutes and cooperates to call for joint action to better integrate peatland management and conservation into EU policies as instruments to improve their status across Member States.