News details

Spirit of optimism in the Swabian Donaumoos

Peatland must be wet! However, since this requires large-scale action and a shift in mindset, there is a great need for discussion. Therefore, the ArGe Donaumoos hosted the conference "Peatland Protection in Practice - Peatland Protection, Climate Protection, Species Protection and Agriculture" from 20-22 July 2023, in Leipheim (Germany). The IfLS took part in the event as part of the MIXED project, a detailed press release of the ArGe Donaumoos can be found here [only in German].

In order to achieve the climate goals, the IPCC states the strong need for net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Despite the fact that peatland soils in Germany make up only a small part of the land used for agriculture, at about 8%, still they are responsible for about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.  "Thus, in order to reach the target of the Paris agreement, there is no way around the rewetting of peatlands", explained the renowned expert Prof. Joosten.

Decades of draining peatland soils and the associated mineralisation of the peat body are the cause of the high CO2 emissions. In contrast, the peat body remains protected from mineralisation under wet conditions. Although natural and rewetted peat soils also emit greenhouse gases (methane), they do so to a considerably lesser extent.

Moreover, by means of land use adapted to the high water levels, such as so-called paludicultures, wet peat soils can even act as carbon sinks. Thus, the second day of the event also served as a practical field demo day within the framework of the MIXED project. With the aim of informing about the potential of wet management of peat soils, participants visited agricultural trial plots, experienced harvesting demonstrations and engaged in lively discussions about practical examples and ideas for the utilisation of paludiculture, e.g. fibre products for paper and packaging.

Contact at the IfLS: Holger Pabst (pabst[at], Simone Sterly (sterly[at]