A Growing Momentum for Peatland Conservation and Restoration

by Eliza Óhegyi, CEEweb for Biodiversity

Achieving climate neutrality is unattainable without the rewetting of peatlands. As announced at the multi-stakeholder workshop in Tata earlier this year, CEEweb for Biodiversity hosted its second event on November 15, 2023, as part of EUKI project Building the European Peatlands Initiative: A Strong Alliance for Peatland Climate Protection in Europe.

Published: 30 November 2023
Peatlands webinar. © Photo: CEEweb for Biodiversity

This interactive online workshop continued the initiative’s goal of bringing together stakeholders to explore both the challenges and enablers of more effective peatland management in Europe.

The workshop opened with an overview of the European Peatlands Initiative by Bax & Company, followed by CEEweb presenting the initial findings of their assessment of peatland strategies in Central and Eastern Europe. Presentations by national experts delved into specific peatland policies and management approaches from Hungary, Estonia, Germany, and within the context of the European Green Deal. Through panel discussions and breakout sessions, participants generated valuable insights and recommendations to advance peatland conservation and restoration efforts across Europe. Peatland rewetting and restoration possibilities within the EU Nature Restoration Law were also brought to the table.

Experts at the workshop recognised a growing momentum for peatland conservation. Participant feedback emphasised the necessity for stronger regional policies, enhanced cooperation, and dedicated funding for peatland initiatives. Economic interests and sectoral pressures, particularly from agriculture and energy, were identified as significant barriers to more impactful peatland action in Europe. Additionally, there is a recognised need for increased public awareness of the crucial value of peatlands and the ecosystem services that they provide.

Looking ahead to 2024, CEEweb plans to concentrate on the role of peatlands in national climate mitigation efforts. Further European peatland investigations will be supported collaboratively by all four partners of the project: Eurosite, the European Landowners Organization (ELO), and the Michael Succow Foundation.

Watch the recording of the online multi-stakeholder workshop here: