Marina Škunca | 05.10. 2023

Peatlands – whether you find their aesthetics mesmerising, relaxing, drab or overly dramatic, it is universally acknowledged that healthy peatlands have an essential role in achieving global and pan-European climate and sustainability objectives. However, Europe’s peatlands are massively degrading; sadly, the continent can brag about having the most enormous peatland losses globally.

To upscale the peatland restoration, improved and long-term collaboration on a European scale is urgently needed.

Recently we opened a new chapter of a beautiful friendship with three European professional organisations: the Michael Succow Foundation (partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre), the European Landowners’ Organization and CEEweb for Biodiversity. We’ve started implementing a new EUKI project, “Building the European Peatlands Initiative: a strong alliance for peatland climate protection in Europe”.

At the beginning of April, we met in Berlin for an internal Kick-off meeting. The main focus of the meeting? Consolidation of our vision and mission, collaboration with other stakeholders and peatland-related networks and projects. The rooms of the Representation of the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania proved to be both cosy and inspirational.

There is a strong desire to build a Europe-wide initiative for peatlands, in close cooperation with the Global Peatlands Initiative, hosted by United Nations Environmental Programme. Dialogues were started at the Climate Summit 2021 in Glasgow, an event hosted by the Irish government. Our EUKI project will bring a helping hand in establishing the Initiative. It can support the cooperation between national governments and stakeholders from all peatland-rich European countries, from North-West to Central-East.

We want to help build an effective European network of national governments and stakeholders to enable the restoration (and conservation) of all European peatlands to provide rich biodiversity, clean water, sustainable livelihoods, net zero CO2 and climate change adaptation.

Our project will provide data and tools but, more importantly, bring together representatives of national governments, scientists, conservationists, private landowners, and farmers to exchange knowledge in workshops and networking events.

Each target group must play a different role in the long-term European collaboration for peatlands. And with this project, we want to help them find common ground and a common language, to support the conservation and restoration agenda needed to enhance the reduction of GHG emissions and climate change mitigation.

Please have a look at our website to learn more about the project and its objectives.

This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).