Paludiculture presents the necessary paradigm shift towards sustainable peatland use with global climate benefits

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Wetlands International European Association together with Greifswald Mire Centre met with EU actors on post 2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its effect on farming on wet organic (peat) soils, so called paludiculture, on April 9, 2019.

To feed the current policy discussions on the post 2020 CAP, we brought the importance of rewetted peatland to reduce CO2 emissions to attention and showcased examples of paludiculture. Policy makers have been informed how to support larger scale implementation of paludiculture before the final approval of the amended legislative documents and the CAP national strategic plans.

So far, peatlands have not been given as much as attention as needed. They cover only 3% of the world’s land surface but hold 25% of the global soil carbon; making them the world’s most effective carbon stores holding. However, if drained, they excessively emit carbon rather than storing it due to decomposition of organic matter.

Paludiculture is the productive use of wet peatlands. First used by Hans Joosten (1998), paludiculture is known as a land management technique that cultivate commercially interesting crops on wet or rewetted peatlands under conditions that maintain the peat body, facilitate peat accumulation and sustain the ecosystem services associated with natural peatlands. Research has also shown its cost effectiveness and its ability to meet with the requirements of the international commitments with respect to protecting climate, water and biodiversity.

Despite all the benefits of paludiculture, obstacles and counteracting incentives exist in the current CAP, which are preventing farmers to go for it. Action for better legal integration of paludiculture into the post 2020 CAP has to be taken in order to give suitable incentives for the farmers.

We call on new Members of the European Parliament, European Commission and all Member States to ensure that the proposal specifically recognize the importance of paludiculture for farmers, environment and climate by setting the following overarching objectives:

  • Paludiculture integrated into spatial planning and new CAP (Pillars I + II)
  • Clear GHG emission reduction targets needed to fulfil Paris Agreement e.g. via strict GAEC 2
  • Clear targets for other goals (water quality, biodiversity etc.)
  • Eligibility of paludiculture for CAP payments by qualifying Paludi-crops (reed, cattail, peatmoss etc.) as agricultural activity
  • No cut of funds in 2nd pillar to allow for ambitious peatland agri-environmental and climate schemes to reach targets
  • Flexibility for Member States by national strategy plans to reach the ambitious goals set by the CAP can provide chances for peatland-rich member states to create schemes in both pillars for paludiculture to fulfil climate goals (e.g. EcoSchemes in 1st pillar, Agri-environmental Climate Schemes in 2nd pillar)
  • This can help to Adopt country-specific situation (environmental, socio-economic)

 

Please download the report of the meeting

Report-on-Paludiculture-workshop_Brussels.pdf

download

 

For further advice on paludiculture and CAP, please contact

Jan Peters: [email protected]

Lea Appulo: [email protected]

Do you want to know more on paludiculture? https://www.moorwissen.de/en/paludikultur/paludikultur.php

Photo credits: Greifswald Mire Centre

Note:

As an activity foreseen under the REPEAT[1] project, on 9th April 2019 Wetlands International European Association together with Greifswald Mire Centre organised an exchange of views with EU actors on post 2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its effect on farming on wet organic (peat) soils called paludiculture.

[1] REPEAT – REstoration and prognosis of PEAT formation in fens – linking diversity in plant functional traits to soil biological and biogeochemical processes, is the first project to systematically address fen peat formation using an interdisciplinary, multi-method and multi-site approach across Europe. It is led by Warsaw University and funded by ERA-NET Cofunds BiodivERsA3. www.repeat-project.com