Peatland Restoration in Russia
for fire prevention and climate change mitigation – phase III: Development of recommendations for inclusion data on rewetted peatlands into the national climate reporting of the Russian Federation
Attention: In response to Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine, the Succow Foundation has discontinued the project indefinitely in consultation with the donor.
More than 8% of Russia’s land area is covered by peatlands. In the past, these were drained on a large scale to gain land for agriculture, forestry, and peat extraction. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of these former peatlands fell out of use. Today, many of these now fallow areas – a total of ca. 2.75 million hectares – pose a serious fire hazard. In addition, they represent a source of greenhouse gases that result from peat mineralization caused by the drainage. According to some estimates, Russia is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases from drained peatlands in the world. In view of the devastating peatland fires of 2010, the Russian government decided to initiate the rewetting of degraded peatlands as a preventative measure, and has applied for international support for this undertaking. An agreement signed by German chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s president Dmitri Medvedev in July of 2011 lead the way for a joint German-Russian project that includes German investments for further development of technical expertise and Russian investments for the rewetting measures’ actual implementation
Peatland Restoration in Russia
for fire prevention and climate change mitigation – phase III
Duration: 07.2020 - 12.2023
Rewetting of the drained peatlands has proved to be efficient in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and can help countries achieve national goals under the Paris Agreement, a nationally determined contribution (NDC). At the same time, this will lead to an increased biological diversity and reduced fire danger in these areas and will open new sources of income to the local population.
Aim of the project is to demonstrate the potential of the peatlands management for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in climate change mitigation and thus to increase the resilience of landscapes to climate change as an adaptation measure.
The project aims at creating an improved legal and political framework for these restoration measures through the development of the (1) methodology for regional inventories of peatlands compatible with the UNFCCC reporting template, (2) guidelines for reporting on peatlands related mitigation measures, (3) methodology for the assessment of GHG emission reductions from peatlands rewetting, (4) methodology for the assessment of GHG emissions from peat fires, (5) recommendations and reporting forms for including information on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands rewetting into the reporting on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. Besides, carrying out an integrative assessment of changes in ecosystem services induced by ecological peatland restoration is also planned.
Project activities include an inventory of peatlands and prioritization of areas intended for rewetting, the rewetting of peatlandsin the Kaliningrad Province, and piloting the developed methodologies.
Moreover, the project aims to offer advanced training measures, draw up recommendations for policy and statute revisions regarding sustainable peatland management, and develop new approaches and mechanisms for a financially and ecologically viable and sustainable peatland use.
The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through KfW development bank in the framework of the International Climate Initiative (ICI). It is a joint venture of Wetlands International (Netherlands), represented locally by Wetlands International Russia, the Michael Succow Foundation and the University of Greifswald (both partners in the Greifswald Mire Centre) and, last but not least, the Institute of Forestry at the Russian Academy of Sciences. It is carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Kaningrad Province, State budget Institution of the Kaliningrad region "Nature park "Vishtynetsky" and the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
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