Report on peatland policy in North-West Europe
Well managed and healthy peatlands provide one of the most important opportunities to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Therefore, in these times of climate crisis, peatland’s potential to provide a long-term store and sink for carbon should be utilised as much as possible. Unfortunately, European policies and national policies have failed to protect peatlands, which has led to a rapid deterioration and significant Greenhouse Gas emissions from degraded peatlands.
In a collaborative effort between the five Care-Peat partner countries, the Care-Peat project has produced a report highlighting the peatland policies and strategies in the five North-West European countries Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This report will provide a baseline for further project activities which will aim to explore and discuss the gaps in policy making with stakeholders and policy makers.
The report investigates and reviews existing and new ideas for climate-related peatland restoration strategies and policy at the international level, EU level and nationally in the five partner countries. The document is not meant to provide a full analysis of these peatland policies and strategies, but rather to serve as an overview, a sort of library, that can be used for further discussion in line with the objectives of the Care-Peat strategies and policies work package. This work package aims to develop policies and strategies towards a sustainable socio-economic model and to promote the roll-out of developed techniques and methods for peatland restoration.
Whereas no detailed analysis is provided, the report already presents some interesting findings:
- At the international level, mentioning of peatlands and peatland related targets is lacking.
- At the EU level, the Common Agricultural Policy currently counteracts other water-protecting European policies, but provides great potential to positively influence peatlands if changed.
- At the national level, policies are very different, possibly due to different priorities and governance systems. Whereas the UK and Ireland have a national peatland strategy or programme, Belgium, France and the Netherlands lack such a strategy.
With this report as a primary input, five national workshop will be organised in Autumn 2020 for peatland management practitioners and policy makers in order to assess policy gaps in each country. If you want more information about these workshops, please contact Niall Ó Brolcháin.