Peatland Restoration in Ukraine

Avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions by restoration and sustainable management of peatlands in Ukraine

 

Peatlands cover about 1.4 million ha, i.e. 2.3%, of the Ukrainian land surface. Most of them can be found in the large lowland areas of the Ukrainian Polessie in the north of the country. Several peatland and other protected areas underline the importance of the Polessie lowlands for ecosystem and species conservation. However, about 50% of the total peatland area of Ukraine has been destroyed or severely degraded due to drainage for peat extraction and agriculture.

 

Drained peatlands are important sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. International climate mitigation activities offer opportunities for the restoration of degraded peatlands in Ukraine, and thus, for the avoidance of these emissions. Such ecosystem-based climate mitigation measures could produce multiple benefits for climate, biodiversity and local communities.

 

Local communities benefit from the project since the likelihood of harmful peatland fires will be reduced. New opportunities for alternative income generation from sustainable land use on the rewetted sites and from the sale of carbon credits will develop. Therefore, a fund is going to be established to generate a single pool of marketable carbon emission reductions and to channel funds for the long-term management of rewetted peatland areas.

 

Further measures to ensure long-term sustainability of the rewetted sites include the incorporation of project sites into the protected area system of Ukraine. The promotion of peatland protected areas are part of the commitment of the country to create new protected areas and to improve the management of existing protected areas under the Life Web Initiative of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

 

The project was 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 was implemented by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, Great Britain), the Ukrainian Society for the Protection of Birds (USPB, Ukraine) and the Michael Succow Foundation in cooperation with the Government of Ukraine.

 

 

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project coordination:

Susanne Bärisch