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Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety Citizens can contribute their comments up to December 18th.

The Federal Environment Ministry gives the public the opportunity to have a say in the peatland protection strategy

Because better peatland protection is a key element in protecting the climate and maintaining biodiversity, the federal government will develop a peatland protection strategy. Citizens can get involved at an early stage. The deadline for comments from the public on a discussion paper drawn up by the Federal Environment Ministry ends on December 18th. Intact moors are not only impressive in terms of landscape, they also offer unique habitats for many animal and plant species. At the same time, they are important long-term stores for carbon. If peat soils are drained for agricultural or forestry use, they release this carbon in the form of considerable amounts of greenhouse gases. Therefore, progress in peatland protection is urgently required in order to achieve the goal of greenhouse gas neutrality. With the discussion paper, the Federal Environment Ministry presents concrete goals and measures for strengthening peatland protection in Germany. Effective moor protection can only succeed if all state and social actors work together. In particular, peatland protection needs the support of those who own the land and who cultivate it. The moor protection strategy measures presented in the discussion paper are based on the basic principle of voluntariness. Cooperative approaches are to be implemented for the rewetting of areas currently used for agriculture and forestry. The Federal Environment Ministry is already addressing the interested public directly in the drafting phase of the peatland protection strategy. As part of the public participation, both stakeholders such as associations and civil society organizations as well as citizens have the opportunity to provide information for the final draft, stakeholders from the fields of nature and environmental protection, agriculture and forestry, but also water and energy, as well as research and On December 15, 2020, education will also have the opportunity to comment on the discussion paper on the peatland protection strategy and to discuss the content as part of a virtual event.

The Federal Environment Ministry’s discussion paper is available for download. The public can comment on this in writing by post or email until December 18, 2020.

Background information In Germany, peat soils take up around four percent of the federal territory, but cause around 45 million tons of CO2eq greenhouse gas emissions. This corresponds to more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions attributable to agriculture. These releases can only be stopped by raising the water levels in the drained peatland. In addition to protecting intact bogs, restoring and sustainable management of bog soils are therefore key challenges. In particular, the establishment of so-called paludiculture should be given greater attention, i.e. useful plants such as reeds, alders or grasses that are suitable for wet cultivation. To test and further develop such forms of management, the Federal Environment Ministry is already planning several pilot projects on peatland protection, which can form a first step towards implementing the peatland protection strategy.

11/16/2020 | Press release No. 205/20 | Nature conservation / biological diversity

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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