Since September 2015 ”Baltic Coasts” Association has launched the implementation of the LIFE Climate Change Mitigation project LIFE REstore – Sustainable and responsible management and re-use of degraded peatlands in Latvia. LIFE14 CCM/LV/001103. One of the tasks of the LIFE Restore project is to find compromises between peat extractors and nature protection organisations.
THE MAIN GOAL
The main goal is establishment of a decision support system for responsible and sustainable degraded peatland re-use and management in Latvia.
The global importance of peatlands for carbon storage and climate change mitigation has only recently been recognized in international policy – only since 2008 organic soils are subject of discussion. As the degraded peatlands can be source of GHG emissions, as well as the CO2 sequestration is limited, the management of these areas is essential for reduction of GHG emissions in long term. Moreover, peatland ecosystems are globally valuable in terms of biodiversity, as well as economic importance of the areas varies with respect to the potential options of economic activities to be carried out within.
In Latvia currently there has not been developed a strategy for implementation of standard approaches and basic principles for the management of degraded peatlands. The information about the locations and precise areas, as well as the classification of those territories in the context of climate change impacts is lacking. Since the global post 2020 climate agreement of 2013 includes the obligation to report emissions and removals from peatland drainage and rewetting (wetlands management), also a necessity has occurred for the rapid availability of reliable, comprehensive, high resolution, spatially explicit data on the extent and status of degraded peatlands, as well as for elaboration of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Taking this into consideration LIFE REstore project has set out the following objectives:
- to approbate a field measurement based methodology for accounting of the GHG emissions from managed wetlands in Latvia in accordance with the supplement to the IPCC guidelines for national GHG inventories “Wetlands”;
- to perform an inventory and develop a database of the degraded peatlands in Latvia for public access and use of obtained data;
- to develop a decision support tool for land re-use planning of degraded peatland areas, providing the most optimal balance of the aspects of ecological restoration for biodiversity, benefits for economic growth and GHG emission reduction for long-term mitigation of negative climate change impacts in Latvia;
- to support policy-makers by providing a strategic framework for implementation of the developed approaches of sustainable re-use of degraded peatlands for integration in the National PEAT Strategy.
THE MAIN PROJECT ACTIONS:
- to approbate the methodology for GHG emissions accounting in accordance to IPCC guidelines “Wetlands” in order to elaborate country specific emission factors and contribute to National GHG Inventory improvements and evaluation of impact of the proposed actions
- to perform an inventory of degraded peatlands and to develop a database of degraded peatlands, thus obtaining input data for the optimisation model and GHG accounting
- to develop a decision support tool
- a map based land use optimisation model for re-use of degraded peatlands by combination of multi-criteria methods and GIS systems, and to perform strategic EIA procedure for the tool / developed strategical approach
- based on the conclusions derived from practical experience, to develop set of recommendations and mechanisms for the application and implementation of developed optimisation model for peatland re-use and innovative approaches in policy-making for peatland management
- Identification of the current situation, research and regulatory framework analysis, assessment of the selected demonstration areas – Development of the Lauga management plan
- Creation of GIS database, survey and identification the degraded peatland areas
- Approbation of methodology for GHG accounting for key source categories in managed wetlands in accordance with the supplement to the IPCC guidelines “Wetlands”
- Development of the criteria for peatland classification – Development of the base of factors (interdependance, interactivity) significance – Estimated the natura capita for all degraded peatlands
- Development of a land re-use and management panning support model for the optimal re-use of degraded peatlands
- Demonstration of the selected land re-use optimisation models – implementation of management scenarios for peatland re-use in selected demonstration territories
- Ecosystem services impact assessment of degraded peatlands
- Prioritising of economic and environmental criteria which are based on peat resource assumption in degraded areas (former peat extraction fields)
- Development of recommendations for the for improvement and application of financial and other governmental and municipal tools for the implementation of the developed strategical approaches for the use of the potential of re-use scenarios of the degraded peatlands for climate change mitigation
- Presentations and awareness rising events for the public and private sector involvement
- Share of knowledge within networking
- Carbon Market approach assessment
- High quality project developed
- CO2 emission reductions planned 2226.54 metric tons per year
- Carbon sequestration – 838.34 metric tons per year
Total budget 1,828,318.00 EUR, EU Contribution 1,096,990.00 EUR