The NatureConnect Blog

Introducing a new initative for forested peatlands

Sustainable management of forested peatlands promotes climate protection

Intact forested peatlands are habitats that fulfill an important ecosystem function and provide a habitat for numerous plant and animal species. They remove carbon from the atmosphere via plants and store it for a long time. However, many of these biotopes in Schleswig-Holstein are currently in poor or very poor condition due to drainage. As a result, they have a negative climate balance and emit increasing amounts of CO₂ and N₂O into the atmosphere. This is yet another driver of the anthropogenic global warming. Sustainable management and rewetting of forested peatlands can thus contribute not only to a positive biotic development potential, but also to a reduction of greenhouse gases. Peatland protection is also climate protection.

Relation of CO₂-C emissions and water levels
Relation of CO₂-C emissions and water levels (Tiemeyer et al, 2020).

The two most important owners of forest land in Schleswig-Holstein are the Schleswig-Holstein State Forestry (SHLF) and the Schleswig-Holstein Nature Conservation Foundation (SNSH). They want to cooperate in protection and renaturation of peatland areas. For this purpose, they have commissioned NatureConnect to conduct a preparatory study. We are delighted that we can now share the results of this study with you. In the report „Waldmoore in Schleswig-Holstein: Aktueller Zustand und Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten“ (forested peatlands in Schleswig-Holstein: Current Status and Development Potential), we present a guideline for the identification of suitable project areas in Schleswig-Holstein. It develops a framework and recommendations for the entire process, including surveys, planning and implementation of measures, and success criteria and long-term monitoring.

Focused management of forested peatland, applied to wide areas, has great potential to support the ambitious climate protection policy goals. This sends a strong political signal for climate and environmental protection in Schleswig-Holstein.