Dinaric Karst Peatlands for Climate Resilience

Establishing a multi-stakeholder platform to promote the conservation and restoration of karst peatlands through sustainable business opportunities and policy and legal reforms.

Carbon Removals and Sinks Peatlands

Reflexion at Livanjski polje

Project info

Countries:

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro

Project duration:

12/23 - 02/26

Target groups:

National governments, Local governments

Funding:

449,999.55 €

Contact info

Contact:

Djordje Stefanovic

Implementing organisation
  • Dinarica
Partner:
  • Dinarica
  • Eco-team

Background

It is estimated that peatlands store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined. Therefore, they play a crucial role in sequestering greenhouse gases. They also support biodiversity and provide significant socio-economic benefits. That’s why the EU’s Nature Restoration Law, adopted in November 2023, includes the protection and restoration of drained peatlands.  In Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, however, the Dinaric karst peatlands have been extensively degraded by drainage, land reclamation, excavation and, in particular, water pollution and water diversion for hydropower. While some stakeholders wish to preserve the peatlands, others are in favour of exploiting them for short-term benefits. The Dinaric karst peatlands have so far not received much attention from government authorities in the two countries, mainly due to a lack of capacity, expertise and data.

Project

In a bottom-up approach, the project fosters collaboration among stakeholders from local communities, government, research, and the business community who are committed to sustainable and climate-positive investments and the conservation and restoration of the Dinaric karst peatlands. It provides them with a platform to jointly develop long-term strategic goals for the peatlands’ conservation. They will present an alternative to current short-term benefits based on concession rights for peatlands excavation, unsustainable agriculture, and water allocation for hydropower. The platform will serve as a repository of knowledge and good practices and drive the upscaling and replication of peatland restoration.

The project introduces new business opportunities based on carbon crediting and offsetting schemes. These business cases are specifically designed for those companies whose operations degrade peatlands. Financial models to ensure the viability of peatland restoration beyond state-budget funding are researched, designed and piloted. Bankable solutions to engage with companies and potential investors in the peatlands’ restoration and conservation are analysed.

The project also raises the national governments’ awareness of the value of peatlands for climate change mitigation and promotes the transformation of the hydropower sector, which is driving peatland degradation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular.

Last update: April 2024