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Accompanying wet peatland use on the way to market

24/01/2024 The PaludiZentrale project bundles four recently launched model and demonstration projects (MuDs) for peatland protection and the utilization of biomass from rewetted areas for more economic paludiculture potential. Jointly managed by Thünen Institute Braunschweig and University of Greifswald, it coordinates and ensures uniform scientific data collection and knowledge exchange. It evaluates results of all aprticipating projects and develops suggestions for political and economic framework conditions as well as recommendations for action for implementation in practice. It also takes care of the transfer of knowledge. The researchers will accompany the new model and demonstration projects in raising the water level at least close to the surface on peatland areas and growing paludicultures (Latin palus: swamp, cultura: agriculture). Another task is to push the utilisation of peatland biomass towards practical use. The projects “Management and biomass utilization of wet fens in Brandenburg (WetNetBB)”, “Living Lab Teufelsmoor – climate and nature conservation-oriented wet management of peatland soils with innovative growth utilization in the Osterholz district (LivingLab Teufelsmoor)” and “Sustainable production and utilization of cattails on fen sites in Lower Saxony (RoNNi)” in Lower Saxony are concentrated on the cultivation of reed and cattail to be used e.g., in building materials or as energy source. The project “Sphagnum paludiculture as a sustainable agricultural use of raised bog soils (MOOSland)” is developing large-scale peat moss cultures for substituting peat.


The rewetting of peatland reduces emissions that are harmful to the climate. In addition, climate-friendly, even climate-positive and locally renewable raw materials can be obtained from these areas for a circular economy as a replacement for previously used petroleum-based materials. The market for biomass from wet peatlands is still small. However, the large-scale rewetting of peatlands can only be successfully implemented with an economic perspective. This perspective is crucial to promote acceptance among both land owners and users and throughout society. That is why the four MuDs and the overarching technical coordination through the PaludiZentrale project are dedicated to building value chains from cultivation to utilization. They are aimed at the building materials, paper and fiber, horticultural substrates and energy production industries. PaludiZentrale ensures exchange and advice on the development of appropriate products, raw material properties, requirements and possible hurdles not only between the MuDs, but also with industry representatives, farmers and other actors. This ensures that scientists can collect and comprehensively evaluate data using a uniform and comparable methodology. This refers to cultivation and utilization, to business and socio-economic analysis. It also concerns the monitoring of long-term economic and ecological impacts, for example how greenhouse gas exchange, soils, hydrology, water quality and biodiversity develop on the rewetted areas. The researchers derive recommendations under which conditions paludicultures and their utilization in regional value chains can be economically worthwhile. This is followed by the transfer of knowledge in politics, practice and society, which is implemented jointly by the Michael Succow Foundation and the University of Greifswald, both partners in the Greifswald Mire Centre. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is supporting the ten-year project with funds from the Climate Transformation Fund (KTF); the project sponsor is the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR). In addition, the PaludiZentrale project also aims to network the MuD projects via the so-called “PaludiNetz” with four pilot projects on moorland protection that are already underway and run by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection. (BMUV) is financed by Z-U-G gGmbH as the project sponsor and will also run for ten years.

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