About Us

National Committees

The International Peatland Society currently operates through 16 National Committees.

In each country, only one IPS National Committee can be recognised. The organisation must have the status of a legal entity to which the Executive Board of the Society has granted the status of an IPS National Committee.

Here are some useful documents for countries willing to establish a National Committee: Easy Guide For NCs and Model Statutes for NCs.

To contact all National Committees, write an email to: natcoms (at) peatlands.org. For general questions about National Committees contact info (at) peatlands.org.

In countries with a National Committee, all interested organisations, corporations, foundations and individuals are affiliated to the Society through the National Committee concerned. For membership conditions, please contact the Chair or Secretary of your National Committee:

National Committees Chairs and Secretaries by Country

Canada

Contact Persons

Dr. Jean-Yves Daigle

Canadian Society for Peat and Peatlands
196 15 ième Rue
Shippagan, NB E8S 1E8
CANADA

Paul Short

Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association
13 Mission Avenue Suite 2208
St. Albert, AB T8N 1H6
CANADA
+1 780 460 8280

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2018

Environmental Research

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Chair for Peat Management held by Dr. Line Rochefort has come to an end. A new five-year NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grant was negotiated between industry and Laval University, with Dr Rochefort as the research lead. This program will continue the research on bog and fen restoration across research sites in Canada. In addition, a new five-year NSERC CRD was developed with McGill University; the lead researchers are Dr Nigel Roulet and Dr Ian Strachan. Key elements of this new program will investigate the carbon emissions from active harvest sites, as well emissions of CO2 and CH4 during peat end use. During the next five-year program, industry will invest $2.5 million in the research program.

Economic and Social Impact Studies

Information on the economic impact of the Canadian peat harvesting industry was prepared for Canada overall, as well as Manitoba, Quebec and New Brunswick. This information was developed under contract and provides updated information on the jobs created, taxes generated and regional impacts of the industry.

Further, initial information on the value to the agricultural and horticultural industry in North America of growing media was investigated. More investigations are anticipated in the coming year related to food security.

Governance

Meetings continued with both federal and provincial government agencies responsible for the management of peatland resources and the peat industry. The increasing development of policies related to both wetlands and peatlands is occurring in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and New Brunswick.

Industry also participated through their involvement with IPS meetings. Of particular interest was the Summit Meeting in Rotterdam, held in September.

Industrial Sustainability

Industry continued to monitor its environmental, social and economic challenges and achievements. The Industry Social Responsibility Report provides the framework for industry actions in the areas of environmental research, social accountability, economic value and responsible peatland management. Key is the continued engagement with Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Responsibly Managed Peatlands: A Veriflora® Certification for Responsible Horticultural Peat Moss Production. At present, 80% of Canadian industry is certified under this program.

 

Annual Report 2017

Environmental Stewardship

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Industrial Research Chair in Peatland Management and Collaborative Research & Development Grant (CRD) continued. It will be entering its final year. Negotiations have begun on a renewal for a 5-year CRD grant.

Negotiations were held with McGill University to apply for a new NSERC 5-year grant. The research will investigate greenhouse gas emissions from peat extraction and use and after use.

A new chapter on Donor site management was prepared for inclusion in the Restoration Guide.

Social Stewardship

An updated social and environmental assessment (Social Balance Sheet) was completed. A revised Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (eLCA) was initiated, the documentation will be available in 2018.

An Economic impact assessment of the horticultural peat industry to Canada was initiated.

Communications

An industry harvest report was completed in September and a press release distributed.

In New Brunswick, the industry is almost at or slightly above its expected harvest volumes (New Brunswick North, 104%, New Brunswick South, 98%). The harvest on Québec’s South Shore (90%) is below expectations. A cool moist spring and parts of the summer account for the shortfall. In Québec’s North Shore (98%) the results are more favorable with some producers achieving and exceeding their harvest expectations.

The Prairie Provinces (MB, SK & AB), have experienced a mixed harvest season (Manitoba, 110%; Saskatchewan, 78%; Alberta, 78%). A prolonged spring and cool wet summer months account for the poorer showing in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Minnesota has experienced a similarly lower than expected harvest with only 53% achieved.

The industry participated in the International Symposium on Growing Media, Soilless Cultivation and Compost Utilization in Horticulture, Portland Oregon, USA.

Resource Governance

Federal Government

Engagement on RAMSAR resolutions and upcoming (2018) COP were the focus with the Federal Government.

The industry worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to investigate the issues regarding pest risk assessment for peat and peat-based products.

Provincial Governments

Meetings continued with the Alberta and Manitoba government through the respective industry Task Forces and Working Groups. The province of Saskatchewan has initiated discussions on increased peatland management and resource development.

In Manitoba, there have been some delays in advancing elements of the new peatland resource Act and Regulations. The Peatland Management guidelines for exploration, lease applications, management and recovery plans were approved. A guidebook is available through the Government of Manitoba.

In the province of Quebec, the APTHQ continues to be engaged with the Government of Quebec to develop new regulations related to the environment act and the climate change regulations.

 

Annual Report 2015

Environmental Stewardship

Extensive support for research and development in areas of environmental interests particularly on peatland restoration, biodiversity, hydrology and greenhouse gas emissions have been maintained and strengthened. The national science coordinator, Stéphanie Boudreau provided overall leadership and guidance.

Key outcomes:

International cooperation: There was a presentation at the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) World Conference; Manchester, and initial efforts were made in support of a Canadian/Baltic research initiative on restoration. Peat research workshops were held in Alberta, Manitoba, Québec, and New Brunswick in association with the Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG). The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Industrial Research Chair in Peatland Management and Collaborative Research & Development Grant (CRD) continued to be implemented across the expanded national programs (Alberta, Manitoba, Québec, New Brunswick).

Information was provided to the participants from Environment Canada (Federal Government) who attended the COP12 of RAMSAR in Uruguay regarding concerns with the Resolutions proposed by the Scandinavian countries affecting peatlands.

Investigated efforts by the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) as it develops a carbon accounting protocol for inclusion of the peatlands carbon in the Forest Carbon Budget model for Canada.

Social Stewardship

There were meetings of the Canadian industry Association, federally, provincially and internationally to promote the concerns and interests of the peatland and peat resources.

Meetings were held with Alberta Geological Surveys, Canadian Forest Services, Northern Office, and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) to discuss peatland inventory, peatland carbon accounting and mapping. Meetings involved the Finnish Geological Survey (Dr. Samu Valpola) who introduced their advanced inventory and carbon calculations. Further bilateral discussions are ongoing.

Industry support continued for the IPS engagement in further international conventions and European policy efforts affecting peatlands. An Industry Social Responsibility (ISR) Report was completed and a Case Study was prepared for the FAO SAFA website.

A Harvest report was completed in September and a press release distributed. “The harvest season was adequate but lacked a strong harvest overall. Western Canada experienced early favourable weather conditions and a strong start to the year. This helped to minimize periodic negative weather related conditions during the balance of the harvest season and the harvest numbers are close to achieving the expected amounts.
In Québec the results are well below expectations. This is primarily due to a later start and continuous, often heavy rain throughout the balance of the season. In the Maritime Provinces, the harvest achieved met expected volumes.”

Communications

A new joint industry (CSPMA / APTHQ / NBPPA) web site was developed and launched in July.

Efforts continued on the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) in joint research projects (Manitoba), operational trials and knowledge transfer related to wetlands and peatlands management in Canada.

A number of articles appeared in the DUC Conservator and IPS’ Peatlands International highlighting the joint work of the CSPMA and DUC.
The European Peat and Growing Media Association (EPAGMA) / Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has increased the exchange of information and action on items such as no net loss, the European Union’s (EU) carbon management challenges and Baltic research.

The peat industry’s contributions in support of the research work at the Université through the Industrial Research Chair in Peatland Management was recognize at a ceremony held in Québec City by the Université Laval.

An Industry Social Responsibility (ISR) Report was finalized and distributed. A communications firm was hired to distribute and promote the ISR document with extensive coverage in the US.

Resource Governance

Federal Government

Links with Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Canadian Forest Service regarding the management of peatlands and emissions accounting were maintained. The National Wetland Conservation Fund was promoted extensively as a means to support restoration and reclamation activities for wetlands.

Work continued with the development of a National Roundtable on Wetland Conservation in cooperation with a number of other associations, Federal agencies and Environmental Non-governmental Organizations (ENGO’s).

Provincial Governments

At the Provincial level of government, extensive consultation and engagement continued throughout the year.

In Alberta the Wetland Policy continues to be implemented.
The peat industry continued to meet with the Government of Alberta in the development of the Peat Management Framework. At present, efforts continue with the government agencies to determine criteria for restoration/reclamation of peatlands as well as applications for exploration and leasing.

In Manitoba, the Peatlands Stewardship and Related Amendments Act (Bill 61) was approved and regulations were partially proclaimed. The responsibility for implementation shifts to a newly created Forestry and Peat Management Branch.
The establishment of the Peat Practices Committee is a current priority of Government.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) proposed A Strategic Plan for Ontario Wetlands 2015 – 2030 that will identify a provincial vision, goals and objectives for wetlands in Ontario. It proposes to set out a series of actions that the government will undertake over the next 15 years to improve wetland conservation.The provinces Far North Plan has identified peatland management values and additional discussions are ongoing.

The Quebec Peat Producers Association, through the efforts of Genevieve Potvin has been engaged in the development of new management approaches to the development of peatlands throughout the province.

The New Brunswick Peat Producers Association (NBPPA) has strengthened its involvement with the provincial government and the Coastal Zone Research Institute. Jacques Thibault has taken on the responsibilities as General Manager of the Association.

 

Annual Report 2014

Governance

The Province of Alberta has continued to implement the Wetland Policy in the White or private land area of the province. Work continues on the preparation of policies and programs that are needed to implement the Policy in the public lands or Green area. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) introduced a new Management Framework for peatlands that will require engagement of the industry with a completion expected in 2015.

Manitoba approved Bill 61: The Peatlands Stewardship and Related Amendments Act. The Act will not be proclaimed until the Regulations are finalized which is expected in the summer of 2015. Within the Conservation and Water Stewardship Department a new unit, The Peat Practices Committee, has been established to help implement the Act and guide the management of peatlands. When the proclamation of the Act occurs the moratorium on new approvals for peat development will be lifted.

Quebec’s government has continued with the amendments to the legislation that regulates the management and development of the peat industry.  The Quebec Peat Producers Association has been engaged in the legislative and planning changes.

The Province of Ontario has indicated that it will begin the process of developing a Wetland/Water Policy in the coming year.

Environment Canada, through a joint research initiative with the University of Montreal and the industry identified CO2 emissions values from horticultural peat. The findings are being applied in developing the Government’s Annual National Reporting and Accounting of Emissions. Preliminary efforts have begun on developing a peat carbon value for the Canadian Forest Carbon Budget model.

Research

The second year of the NSERC Chair and CRD program continued investigations of the biodiversity, hydrology and greenhouse gas functions of the natural and restored peatlands in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and New Brunswick. In Alberta, a joint Northern Alberta Institute of Alberta (NAIT) /PERG Seminar and Workshop was held 3-4 September 2014. This involved peatland research on restoration of in-situ well sites in Peace River and a field tour at the Seba Beach site.

The 20th PERG Symposium, Responsible Management of peatlands: Involvement of the industrial Sector was held in Quebec City on 19-20 February 2014. Discussions on research programing needs in Manitoba were initiated with the Manitoba government with the announcement of a two-year program by the Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, Honourable Gord Macintosh at the Annual General Meeting of the CSPMA in November 2014.

Within Alberta initial discussions were held with a representative of Finland. Much of the new research discussion focused on climate change implications, particularly carbon emissions and sequestration. There has also been a significant increase in the engagement of industries other than the horticultural peat industry.

Industry

The peat industry’s 2014 harvest In Eastern Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island), was considerably below average due to a late and interrupted start to the harvest season combined with a wet late summer. Production was at or slightly above expectations In Québec’s North Shore. However, due to weather related harvest challenges the harvest on Québec’s South Shore was below average.

For most of the harvest season Alberta experienced a below average to well-below average harvest level primarily due to adverse weather. However, was adjusted slightly due to favorable weather conditions in September and part of October. Manitoba and Saskatchewan experienced varied harvest weather conditions, with an average level of production being achieved in these provinces.

The CSPMA finalized its initial Industry Social Responsibility Report which was the culmination of work on their eLCA, SocioEconomicLCA, and certification process. The report was prepared by Group AGECO and based on the FAO Sustainable Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA).

 

Annual Report 2012

Governance

Studies continued with Environment Canada on the study Quantifying the Potential Mitigation Impact of Peatland Management and Restoration. Continued efforts to engage with Federal agencies for the improvement in responsible management of peatland resources.

Alberta completed final documentation on its Wetland Policy including a report on relative wetland values, a mapping program and a mitigation report. Efforts continued to engage the government in preparation of a peatland management strategy, regulatory disposition reform and guidelines for restoration/reclamation. Increased attention has identified the implications of peatland removal and challenges to reclamation by the heavy oil and non conventional energy development.

The province of Manitoba has continued its preparation of the Peatland Strategy and legislation. Stakeholder meetings were held to provide input. In addition the government identified its long term strategic plan TomorrowNow; Manitoba’s Green Plan. The strategic plan involves consideration of wetlands throughout the province.

Research

The University Laval and its peat industry partners applied and were approved for a 3rd term of research through the Industrial Peatland Management Chair. Additionally, the consortiums applied and were approved for a 5 year Collaborative Research and Development Grant which expands the networking of peatland scientists as well as extends the research into western Canada. The focus of the research programs will be to examine the biodiversity, hydrology and climate change implications of responsible peatland management, restoration and rehabilitation.

Industry

The harvest has significantly improved from last year’s poor season. In eastern Canada the industry achieved higher than expected volumes. In central Canada the production was on or marginally above expectations. An earlier start, combined with favorable weather conditions, contributed to the results in both regions. In western Canada, harvest was impacted by a slower start and more adverse weather. Volumes are slightly below expectations. The outcome is a marked improvement in the harvest volume over last year. It is anticipated that further adjustments may be made dependent on the ability to harvest in the fall season. This will be particularly true for western Canada.

At present there are 7 companies that have achieved certification under the SCS VeriFlora Responsibly Managed Peatland certification. This represents approximately 75-80% of the entire peat production for Canada. An upgrade of the Environmental LCA was completed and a new Socio/Economic LCA evaluation was completed and a new product fact sheet has been produced.

A contract with Group Ageco was signed to produce the initial Industrial Social Responsibility Report for the industry. The initiative was identified by the FAO as one of 20 pilot programs for its Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture (SAFA) program.

 

Annual Report 2011

Governance

Environment Canada has engaged with the industry in a program to improve the understanding of the amount and rate at which horticultural peatlands will be developed and restored. The project is linked to evaluating emission mitigation and the reporting and accounting of GHG’s.
Federal programs related to trade challenges and development opportunities for horticultural peat were investigated.

A Canadian National Workshop was held during the International peat symposium in Quebec City.  The June workshop facilitated the exchange of information, statistics and know-how on Canadian peatland management. Provincially there has been a continued growth in the responsible management of peatland resources.

Alberta completed drafting a regional plan which acknowledges the role of commercial horticultural peat harvesting as an existing resource use. Wetland Policy development reached a draft stage and further discussion on wetland mitigation practices are under consideration. Internally the Department of Sustainable Development developed a peat management framework.

Manitoba continued the development of its Peatland Stewardship Strategy.
A new ministry was formed called Conservation and Water Stewardship; which will oversee the development of the Peat Strategy and the creation of new legislation and regulations during the 2 year moratorium on new quarry leases and quarry permit. The moratorium does permit the issuing of environmental permits and licenses for existing quarry leases.

Quebec’s government has continued with the amendments to the legislation which regulates the management and development of the peat industry. The government also announced Plan Nord, a strategic land use and development plan which will impact the peat industry. The Quebec peat producers Association has been engaged in the legislative and planning changes.

Research

The 10 year results at Bois de Bel produced excellent results regarding biodiversity, hydrology and GHG emissions from a restored bog. The Peatland Ecological Research Group (PERG) under the stewardship of the Industrial Research Chair will be releasing the results in the coming year.
The Bic Saint-Fabien fen and wet meadow restoration work is continuing.

In June the International Symposium: Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production attracted 263 participants from 15 different countries. Congratulations to the co-chair organizers Dr. Line Rochefort and Dr. Jean Caron.

Industry

Continuous and heavy rainfall conditions throughout Eastern Canadian peat harvest regions impacted the ability of the industry to harvest. The areas hardest hit were the provinces of New Brunswick and Québec. These areas account for 60 to 70 percent of all of Canada’s peat production. The outcome was that overall the industry faced its poorest peat harvest season. The industry worked with its commercial business partners to minimize the short term impacts for the horticultural and agricultural industries.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) of California,  the independent agency that has worked with the peat industry, government regulators and the scientific research community issued the final approval of  the VeriFlora® – Responsibly Managed Peatland certification (www.veriflora.com).  The number of Canadian producers that are or will be achieving certification is currently at a level where the majority of the commercial horticultural peat produced in Canada will be certified.

An Environmental Product Fact Sheet was published that provided the quantitative environmental information on the life cycle of Canadian peat in horticulture.  Further work is being carried out to upgrade the Environmental LCA as well as conducting a Socio/Economic LCA. The results of the new information should be available in early 2012.

The Quebec Peat Association (APTHQ) and the New Brunswick Peat Producer Association (NBPPA) have continued to provide support to provincial as well as national sustainability, communications and market development interests.  Work has begun with the NBPPA and the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) on initial biodiversity statements and the development of a Corporate Sustainability Report.

The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) endorsed the International Peat Societies publication Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management, as well as producing its own document Sustainability Canadian Horticultural Peat Industry: Position Paper.  Both documents were widely distributed among government agencies, academic institutions and the horticultural communities. During the international symposium in Quebec City a bilateral meeting of the IPS Executive Board and the Scientific Advisory Committee was held with the CSPMA Board of Directors.

Paul Short, CSPMA

 

Annual Report 2010

Governance

Increasing concerns related to climate change, carbon management and wetland conservation have been the catalyst for governments throughout Canada to investigate new policies, strategies and legislation.

In Alberta peatlands are directly being considered in the development of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, as well as the Wetland Policy (draft). The regulatory process for leasing and allocation of peat for horticultural uses is being amended. Considerable effort is also being given by the oil sands industry in the restoration and reclamation of wetlands.

Manitoba has initiated discussions on a future boreal peatland strategy. A one day State of Knowledge Workshop, sponsored by Ducks Unlimited Canada, The Canadian Boreal Forest Initiative and the Manitoba government was held in Winnipeg, November 29th. It was emphasized that this is only a first step in a longer process involving many stakeholders.

Quebec’s government has been in discussions with industry over the revamping of the current legislation which governs the regulation and management of the peat industry.

Federally, work has continued on the improvement in measurement and reporting of GHG’s from horticultural peat harvesting operations. Efforts are underway to improve the partnership between the industry and Environment Canada to improve the measurement and management of peatlands.

Research

The work of the Industrial Research Chair for peatland management has continued under the NSERC program. This year marked the 10th year of work on the Bois des Bel research bog. The results are currently being analyzed and reports are anticipated early in 2011. Fen and wet meadow restoration at Bic Saint-Fabien has also been underway. Interest in research work on sphagnum farming and its commercialization was maintained.

A natural disturbance impact on peatlands has continued through the NSERC supported research of Dr. Merritt Turetsky and Dr. Mike Waddington entitled “The effects of drought on the vulnerability of forested peatlands to wildfires”.

An important conference entitled Reclamation and Restoration of Boreal Peatlands and Forest Ecosystems: Toward a Sustainable Future was held in Edmonton Alberta, March 25-27. The sessions were well attended by the research community, energy industry, forestry, government and the peat industry. Special thanks to the Organizing committee for a successful event. (Dr. Dale Vitt, Dr. Kel Wieder, Dr. Lee Foote, Dr. Jagtar Bhatti, Leonie Nadeau, Dr. Line Rochefort.)

Planning for the International Symposium; Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production, www.peatlands2011.ulaval.ca to be held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada June 13-17 of 2011 was ongoing.

Industry

The harvest year was a combination of good early and mid season results, especially in Eastern Canada, followed by a much reduced harvest volume in late summer and fall.  The overall result was in general, comparable to last year which was average to below average.

Prices over the year reflected both the seasonal supply variance and the slow economy in the US, our principle market. In midsummer prices were extremely competitive given the good harvest volumes. Later in the year prices were adjusted to reflect a balance between the slower harvest and demand.

Companies remained conservative in their business activities reflecting the challenges faced by a rising Canadian dollar and the economic events in the United States.

The industry maintained its focus on the sustainability initiatives.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) of California, the independent agency that has worked with the peat industry, government regulators and the scientific research community completed the VeriFlora® – Responsibly Managed Peatland certification (www.veriflora.com). The certification is the first peatland management certification system globally.  A number of Canadian producers (Berger Peat Moss, Fafard et Frères, Premier Horticulture.) have been independently audited under the system and have achieved certification.

An Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was carried out. The industry is conducting an upgrade to the Environmental LCA as well as conducting a Socio/Economic LCA during 2011.

The Quebec peat industry has strengthened its activities through the Quebec Peat Association (APTHQ). New Brunswick activities of the New Brunswick Peat Producer Association (NBPPA) have continued to provide support to that Provinces interests.

Nationally the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) has engaged in increased communications initiatives to promote certification, sustainable resource allocation and responsible management of peatlands. Members have participated in active session at the Semi Annual and Annual meetings were presentations on emerging sustainable resource issues (carbon management, natural disturbances) and business challenges (economic forecast and business insurance issues) were highlighted.   Dr. Jean-Yves Daigle was recognized as an Honorary Member of the Association for his excellent support and service to the industry at this year’s Annual meeting.

China

Contact Persons

Professor Wang Shengzong

Institute for Peat and Mire Research
Northeast Normal University
No. 5268, Renmin street
130024 Changchun, CHINA

Professor Meng Xianmin

Institute for Peat and Mire Research
Northeast Normal University
No. 5268, Renmin street
130024 Changchun, CHINA

Phone: 0-86-431-850 98072

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2014

Ongoing registration of China national committee of IPS 

Since the IPS EB approved China to establish a National Committee on 10 September last year, the Institute for Peat and Mire Research at Northeast Normal University has been dealing with issues relevant to the establishment of China’s National Committee in the IPS.

Under the control of the temperate-climatic regime, fen peat dominates the peat resource in China with a total deposit of 4.6 billion tons (oven dry). But due to rapid global warming and extensive human activities, more than 80 % peatlands have been reclaimed as farmlands in the eastern part of China. Although those reclaimed peatlands have lost all the functions and benefits of wetlands, they can be gradually used without any environmental problems.

However, many conservationists in China misunderstand the concept of peatlands and wetlands, and insist that all peatlands must be protected. Accordingly, the governmental agencies have tightened the certification of peat use. As the result of this, the only way for IPS to launch its activities in China is to work with a new institution called the Peat Industry Association Branch, under the China Humic Acid Industry Association (CHAIA), and share a bank account with CHAIA.

On 24 December 24 2014, Mr Zeng Xiancheng, President of China Humic Acid Industry Association, specially visited Northeast Normal University (NENU) and signed a cooperation contract with NENU. Both sides consent that the Institute for Peat and Mire Research and NENU should run the two Secretariats of the Peat Industry Association Branch of CHAIA and the China National Committee of IPS. All the financial issues will be managed by the Secretariat of CHAIA.
Now all establishment documents of the two agencies have been submitted to the relevant governmental agency, and a call for membership will be distributed all over China through a website.

We hope to call on all institutions and specialists who are interested in peat use, peat research, peat engineering design, peat application, and peat sale including representatives of foreign peat companies. After completing collection of application forms, we would like to organize an opening ceremony for the two peat institutions.

Future tasks

China is rich in fen peat and one of the biggest peat markets in the world. China will not only use its home fen peat, but also import a lot of Sphagnum peat and wooded peat, which are rare resources in China. Recently, China has launched a campaign of agricultural modernization, and with the assessment of new technology and environmental safety, the market needs for peat, growing medium cultivation and soil conditioner will rapidly grow.

China’s National Committee will push forward a national programme to organize nine institutions concerning research, production, service and equipment for the growing medium and soil conditioner industry, and upgrade the industry of growing medium and soil conditioner in China through combining the industry technology for growing medium with information technology, to build a new intelligent industry. At the same time, China’s National Committee will promote public awareness of peat and peatlands, and introduce the concept of responsible management of peatlands into China.

Estonia

Contact person

Erki Niitlaan

Estonian Peat Association
Männiku Tee 104
EE-11216 Tallinn
ESTONIA

phone: +372 668 1016
mobile: +372 552 7327

Annual reports

Annual Report 2015

In 2015, the NGO Estonian Peat Association had 32 members from peat extraction, processing and consulting companies from Estonia and abroad. There were no changes in the membership.

The main activities included legal cooperation, especially with the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Among other undertakings, EPA representatives worked in the Energy Council, belonging to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and in three commissions at the Ministry of the Environment – Commission of Estonian Mineral Resources, Peat Roundtable and the working group to create the list of peatlands that are suitable for production.

Similar to 2014, cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment mostly included the analysis of the new Earth Crust Act and preparation of a draft list of peatlands that are suitable for production. At the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, EPA dealt predominantly with the legal questions of energy peat use and district heating, which were included in the analysis of the draft for the new District Heating Act and District Heating Investment Funds Act.

In this regard, meetings with the Ministry of the Environment and the Environmental Investment Centre were held. EPA requested them to allow the use of peat fuel in boilers that are renovated with the financial aid of the state. The condition was that the peat is extracted from a peatland, which is included in the list of peatlands suitable for production.

In addition to the abovementioned activities, EPA representatives analysed the European Union Policy for 2015 – 2019. They also participated in the elaboration of the energy and resource efficiency grant system and took part in the exporter’s competitiveness study. Legal opinion was asked regarding whether or not a peat production area is a plant/factory. This question affects EIA process and handling.

EPA members participated and presented at various conferences, both local and international. Additionally, several conferences, meetings and seminars were organized. In spring, two important events took place – the meeting with the Minister of the Environment Marko Pomerants and the field trip to Portugal on 8 – 14 April, including visits to horticultural companies.

Autumn was busy due to the most important event organized by EPA, XV Baltic Peat Producers Forum. The forum was held in Saaremaa, Kuressaare city on 15 – 18 September and brought together 250 delegates. The subject of the forum was “Peat Industry in Turbulence of Politics and Economy”.

In cooperation with EPAGMA and The Economic Affairs Committee, EPA organized an energy peat seminar in the Parliament of Estonia.

It has become customary to finish the event calendar with the general meeting and a seminar. This year, the event was organized in Viljandi city. The main subjects of the seminar were the changes in the legislation, activities of other professional associations, etc.

As usual, EPA advised its members, drew up statistical overviews and publicized the wall calendar and seventh Peat newspaper. The members participated in a survey regarding economic prognosis. In June 2015, the results of study, “Reducing the Hydrogeological Impact of Peat Production”, were published. This study was launched in 2014 and co-financed by the Environmental Investment Centre.

Close cooperation with the International Peatland Society (IPS), European Peat and Growing Media Association (EPAGMA), Latvian and Lithuanian Peat Producers’ Associations, scientists and other organizations continued.

 

Annual Report 2013

In 2013, the Estonian Peat Association had 32 members from peat production, processing and consulting companies from Estonia and abroad. There were no changes in the membership.

The main activities included legal cooperation, especially with the Ministry of the Environment. The most important legal questions were related to permits’ renewal and natural resources taxation policies.

In these questions, EPA was in close cooperation with the Estonian Association of Mining Enterprises, the Association of Estonian Construction Material Producers and the Federation of Estonian Chemical Industries.

In 2012, the abovementioned associations commissioned a study from Ernst & Young, analysing the tax burden on Estonian mining industry companies. In 2013, the results of the study were presented at various seminars, at the Ministry of the Environment and also at the EPA General Meeting. In addition, on 13 December 2013, the Estonian Supreme Court supported the Chancellor of Justice’s appeal regarding a rapid growth in taxation of natural resources. The Supreme Court declared that changes made by the Estonian Government on 12 November 2009 to regulations numbers 171 and 172 were unconstitutional.

In 2013, meetings were held with the Estonian Competition Authority and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. The main topic of the meetings was changing the District Heating Act in order to favour the use of local fuels (including peat) in local boiler houses. Two representatives of the Association, Matti Puuronen and

Erki Niitlaan, were designated to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Communications Energy Council. EPA representatives also continued to participate in two work commissions – the Commission of Estonian Mineral Resources and the Peat Roundtable.

EPA in cooperation with the Peat Roundtable and the Estonian Convention Bureau prepared bid documents for organizing the International Peat Congress 2020 in Estonia. The organiser of the Congress will be elected in Riga in August 2014.

EPA members participated in and presented data at various international conferences, and cooperated closely with the International Peat Society (IPS), the European Peat and Growing Media Association (EPAGMA), and the Latvian and Lithuanian Peat Producers’ Associations. Important events also included the Baltic Peat Producers’ Forum in Vilnius, seminars in Brussels and meetings relating to a responsibly produced peat certification system in Amsterdam, Riga and elsewhere. In addition, members participated in the Estonian Mining Congress in Narva.

As usual, EPA advised its members, drew up statistical overviews, and published a wall calendar as well as the fifth edition of the Peat newspaper. EPA also took part in establishing the Tootsi Peat Museum and continued to cooperate with scientists and other organisations (such as the Estonian Mining Society and the Estonian Nature Fund).

One more important event was our field trip to Spain on 23 – 29 September. During the trip, participants visited seven horticultural companies who use horticultural peat produced in Estonia.

 

Annual Report 2012

2012 was a busy year for the Estonian Peat Association. Even though membership remained stable, there were numerous events and new intriguing discussion points. The main focus was on organizing the 12th Baltic Peat Producers Forum and publishing a book on the history of peat production in Estonia. This year it was Estonia’s turn to organize the Baltic Peat Producers’ Forum, carrying the epigraph “Knowledge is necessity in peat”. We are glad to tell that participation in the Forum is increasing every year – the 2012 Forum gathered 240 participants!

The Baltic Peat Producers Forum was held in Tallinn on 5 – 7 September. During these three days participants had the chance to visit the Estonian Seaplane Harbour, listen to interesting presentations, participate in master classes and take part in excursions to Väo CHP plant, Muuga Port and different greenhouses.

During the main session, keynote speakers from the Baltic States gave the traditional Baltic update about local peat production news from 2012. In addition, colleagues from other organisations and countries covered a wide range of topics – production technologies, growing media, certification systems and future outlooks.

On the 5th of September, the Peat yearly newspaper was issued, covering important news from the previous year and showing positive sides of peat production to everyone, emphasizing the necessity of peat in energy production and in agriculture. In addition, the newspaper contained examples of using peat in textile production and art projects.

Another important event was the Annual General Meeting, held on 6th of December. The General Meeting included reports and summaries from 2012 and introducing an action plan for 2013. We can state that 2012 was not a good year for peat producers in Estonia. Firstly, this was due to unsuitable weather conditions, like heavy rainfalls and not enough sunshine. In addition, there were various regulative obstacles; for example, the Governments’ decision to increase peat resource fees, as well as requiring mandatory permits for the special use of water.

In connection with the meeting, a seminar with 60 participants was held. Main topics were a Revision of Estonian Peat Deposits, Carbon Content in peat production and reclamation of the Viru cutover peatland. The seminar was followed by a presentation of the book “History of the Estonian peat industry”. This book is a thorough overview of more than 150 years of peat production in Estonia, capturing evolution of the technologies, machinery and know-how used in the early years up to today.

Finland

Contact Persons

Dr. Tuula Larmola

Suoseura ry
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Latokartanonkaari 9
00790 Helsinki
Finland

Phone: +358 50 465 9324

Dr. Jaana Salomäki

Suoseura ry
Finland

Hannu Salo (industry)

Bioenergia ry
Eteläranta 10
00130 Helsinki
www.bioenergia.fi

Annual reports

Annual Report 2018

2018 marked the 69th anniversary of the Finnish Peatland Society with the regular main activities, seminars and excursion taking place. The second Peatland Day, a one-day national scientific meeting for all involved with mires, peatlands or peat, was held in February. In addition, two seminars were organized: one in April alongside the Spring Meeting and the other in November alongside the Autumn Meeting.

The 50th Jubilee Symposium of the IPS took place in Rotterdam in September in which several members participated. In the autumn, a peatland photography competition was announced and, at the end of the year, the 12 best shots were included in a 2019 wall calendar – the first recognition of the 70th jubilee year of the Society. The 69th volume of the journal Suo – Mires and Peat was published, and the construction of the electronic archive was completed and opened up to the public. All the articles starting from Issue 1 (1950) to Issue 69 (2018) are now available at http://www.suo.fi/?lang=en.

Meetings and Seminars

The second National Peatland Day was organized for February 2, 2018, at the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki. The theme was “Peatlands in Finnish Society”. The program was further divided into sub-sessions: Peatlands and Political Decision-making; Peatlands, Culture and Society; Peatlands and Hydrology; Peatlands and Fluxes; and Peatland Conservation. The day brought together 125 participants (the maximum amount for the premises) from different universities, research institutes, ministries and other public bodies, companies and other stakeholder institutions. The program included four invited (plenary and keynote) presentations, 24 voluntary presentations and 26 poster presentations.

The Spring Meeting and Seminar were organized for April 26 and the Autumn Meeting and Seminar for November 27 at the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki. The topic of the Spring Seminar was “New Knowledge of Peatlands Produced by New Peatland PhDs”, where three recently graduated PhDs (Satu Koivisto, Noora Räsänen and Markku Koskinen) presented their peatland-related research. Two new peatland books were announced by our members and (co-)authors Tapio Lindholm and Harri Vasander: 1) H Joosten, F Tanneberger & A Moen (Eds.) (2017) Mires and Peatlands of Europe, Status, Distribution and Conservation 2) J Laine, H Vasander, J-P Hotanen, H Nousiainen, M Saarinen & T Penttilä (2018) Suotyypit ja turvekankaat – kasvupaikkaopas.

The topic of the Autumn Seminar was “New Peatland-related Proposals”, where three projects were presented: Risto Sulkava talked about Hiilipörssi (Carbon Market), which is a marketplace for the restoration of ditched peatlands; Jari Ilmonen discussed Hydrologia Life, which is a project for the conservation of peatlands and small waterbodies in Finland; and Raisa Mäkipää and Sakari Sarkkola presented on the Sompa Project, which studies new management practices in planting and management of arable fields and forests on organic soils, as well as methods for stable bioeconomies to mitigate climate change. Once again, our member and co-author of the book, Harri Vasander, presented on a new publication: J Laine et al. (2018) Sphagnum Mosses – The Stars of European Mires.

Excursion

The yearly excursion took place on August 16-17, and this year the expedition headed to Lauhanvuori National Park and its surroundings. Lauhanvuori is located on the boundary of the South Ostrobothnia and Satakunta Regions. The excursion was joined by 11 participants and four guides. During the trip, the local guides led the group through the park and its peaty surroundings. The detailed travel diary will be published in Suo – Mires and Peat.

Annual Report 2017

2017 marked the 68th anniversary of the Finnish Peatland Society. The regular main activities, seminars and excursion were topped with celebrations of the 100-year-old Finland. Two seminars on this theme were organized: one alongside the spring meeting and the other alongside the autumn meeting.

The Annual Convention and Seminar of the IPS (Aberdeen, 28-31 May) was attended by the President of Suoseura, Tapio Lindholm. Planning and organizing the second Peatland Day (held on 2 February 2018) preoccupied the society, especially in the latter half of the year. Additionally, Board members participated actively in the activities of the IPS, while the 68th volume of the journal Suo – Mires and Peat was published.

Meetings and Seminars

The spring meeting and seminar were organized for
24 March and the autumn meeting and seminar took place on 21 November at the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki. The topic of both seminars was ‘Peatlands in the 100-year-old Finland – What Has Our Independence Meant to Peatlands?’

In the seminars, many interesting presentations were given, including on forest improvement in independent Finland (Juhani Päivänen), Finnish mire and peatland culture – from woodcraft to media images (Kirsi Laurén), new usages of peatland plants (Marika Laurila), conservation of peatlands as a patriotic task – the history of peatland conservation (Tapio Lindholm), how to respond to international goals for protecting mire ecosystems – a case study of ELITE (Tuomas Haapalehto), Parks & Wildlife restoration of peatlands (Sakari Rehell), the development of peat and peatland research in Finland over the last 100 years (Kimmo Virtanen), peatland cultivation before, now and in the future (Merja Myllys), the development of peat production technology (Ari Erkkilä) and new possibilities for peat products (Janne Kangas).

Excursion

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence, the 40th National Park of Finland was established in Hossa, which is where the excursion headed on 16-17 August. The excursion consisted of 14 participants and two guides. During the trip, the local guides led the group through the park and its peaty surroundings. A detailed travel diary was published in Suo 68 (75:82).

Annual Report 2014

The Society’s activities were quite numerous once again in 2014. This year was the Society’s 65th year of operation, and thus an anniversary. Current research topics and the latest research results concerning peatlands were presented in two seminars arranged by Suoseura. Traditionally the meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attendance fees. A two-day autumn excursion, “The 65th Anniversary Excursion”, headed to the peatlands of south-West Finland at the beginning of September. The Society published the 65th volume of the scientific journal SUO – Mires and Peat.

Meetings and seminars

In connection with the annual spring meeting on 1 April 2014, a half-day seminar on “Use of Economically Unprofitable Forestry-Drained Peatlands” was held at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in Vantaa. The seminar gathered together 40 participants. Senior Inspector Niina Rissanen from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry presented the changes in the Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry; Prof. Anne Tolvanen (Metla) gave a presentation on the research projects on “LIFE Peat Land Use”; Dr Soili Kojola from Metla introduced the National Forest Inventory’s results on poorly productive sites of the forestry-drained peatlands; and Juha Ovaskainen MSC from Vapo Oy asked, from the peat producer’s point of view, whether it is possible to use those sites in peat production. During and after the presentations there was time for discussion (see also: www.suoseura.fi).

In connection with the Society’s annual autumn meeting, on
26 November 2014 at the House of Estates in Helsinki, the 65th anniversary seminar was held. The seminar was devoted to giving newly graduated or PhD students or post-doctoral students in peatland research the chance to present their latest research topics. The seminar gathered together 70 participants.

The presentations concerned the following topics: Dr Tuula Larmola discussed how methanotrophy induces nitrogen fixation during peatland development; PhD student Antti Sallinen presented on the local peatlands and climate project in north-east Finland; and Dr Tuomas Haapalehto presented the results of restoring ecosystem structure and functions to peatlands degraded by forestry drainage.

PhD student Markku Koskinen described how organic carbon leaches from the peat as a result of restoration and logging; Dr Paavo Ojanen presented results on the greenhouse gas balance in forestry-drained peatlands; PhD student Maija Lampela had studied peatlands in the tropics and demonstrated how challenging the reforestation of the drained and burned tropical peat swamp forests is; and Dr Anna Laine presented results on land use impact on the vegetation and GHG fluxes of young coastal mires. A poster session was also included in the seminar (see all the seminars and presentations at www.suoseura.fi/toiminta 2014).

Excursions

The traditional autumn excursion was arranged this year to the peatlands in south-west Finland. Twenty-two members of Suoseura took part in this two-day excursion. The purpose of the trip was to learn about the upcoming new Teijo National Park and its peatlands. The diverse content of the excursion was planned by geologist and Senior Researcher Emeritus Riitta Korhonen and Senior Researcher Kimmo Virtanen (GTK, Kuopio). Riitta Korhonen also served as tour leader and Kimmo Virtanen as a tour guide.

The peatland sites like the Punassuo mire close to the coast of the Baltic Sea (which will be a part of the upcoming Teijo Natural Park), the paludified rock hollow mire called Stormossen, the Kurjenrahka National Park and Kekkilä´s peat production area at Linturahka mire were all included in the excursion. The evening programme took place in the very unique holiday village “Herrankukkaro”. The programme included a peat bath in a smoke sauna, a warm outdoor pool, sea swimming, and a ceremonial meal with more than 10 different fish courses. A travelogue of this excursion by Antti Sallinen was published in SUO 65 (2):63-69 (see also pictures from the excursion at www.suoseura.fi/toiminta 2014).

Publications

The quarterly journal of SUO (see also www.suoseura.fi/suo/), the Finnish Peatland Society, SUO – Mires and Peat, published two numbers (1 and 2) of the 65th volume, with a total of 96 pages. The number of reprints was 420.

Activities in IPS

Dr Samu Valpola, as a member of Executive Board, participated in EB meetings and other events held in Gröningen on 26-28 March, in Oulu on 4-8 August, in Riga on 25-28 August, and in Brussels on 11-13 November. Dr Sakari Sarkkola and Dr Leena Larva participated in the SAB (Scientific Advisory Board) meeting and Dr Leena Larva participated in the SAB meeting as well as in the Annual Meeting of IPS on 28 August 2014. Jenni Simkin, Secretary of Suoseura, also participated on behalf of the IPS in the 8th European Ramsar meeting in Kufstein on 20-24 September. Members of the Finnish Peatland Society also actively attended the IPS Commission meetings and the annual meeting of IPS in 2014.

Annual Report 2013

The Finnish Peatland Society’s activities were numerous in 2013. Current research topics and the latest research results concerning peatlands were presented in three seminars arranged by Suoseura. Typically, the meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attendance fees. A twoday autumn excursion headed to the mires of western Finland in the middle of September. The main goals of the excursion were to get to know the mires of the land uplift coast and those on acid sulphate soils.

A special seminar in conjunction with the Finnish Association of Members of Parliament and Scientists (TUTKAS) was arranged in November at the Parliament House. The theme of the seminar was Peatlands of Finland – Resources or Nature Values?

The Society published the 64th volume of the scientific journal Suo – Mires and Peat.

Meetings and seminars

1) In connection with the annual spring meeting on 13 March 2013, a half-day seminar on the latest developments relating to ongoing legislative issues concerning mires and peatlands was held at the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki. The latest legislative amendments concerning mire protection were presented by the Ministerial Counsellor Satu Sundberg (Ministry of the Environment), and the new Forest Law was presented by Johnny Sved, M.Sc. (Forestry Development Centre, TAPIO). In addition, the latest research results relating to “Sphagnum moss as a growing media and its growing techniques” were presented by Professor Emeritus Risto Tahvonen (MTT Agrifood Research, Finland) and Dr Niko Silvan (Metla, Finnish Forest Research Institute). Among these issues, the new Bioenergy Association of Finland, which started its work in Helsinki at the beginning 2013, was introduced by its managers Jouko Rämö and Hannu Salo. The seminar attracted a total of 48 participants.

2) On 15 October, a half-day seminar was arranged on “Restored Wetlands: On the Point of View of After-Use”.The seminar was held at the House of Estates in Helsinki, gathering 43 participants. Five different after-use methods and related issues were presented: “A general overview of after-use methods” was given by Project Manager Olli Reinikainen (Vapo Oy); “Results of newest research and ecosystem services of water chemistry in connection with restoration” were presented by Dr Tapani Sallantaus (Finnish Environment Institute); “The new restoration guide for drained peatlands” was presented by Special Planner Maarit Similä (Metsähallitus, Department of the Natural Heritage Services); a presentation about tree biomass production on cut-away peatlands was given by Lasse Aro, M.Sc. For. (Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla); while Special Planner Mikko Alhainen (The Finnish Wildlife Agency) spoke about “The life and return of rural wetlands project”. At the end of the day, newly graduated Dr Meeri Pearson (Metla/University of Helsinki) presented work from her doctoral thesis, “Effects of Soil Preparation on Scots Pine Seedling Vitality and GHG Emissions” (www.metla.fi/dissertationes/df159.htm).

3) In connection with the Society’s annual autumn meeting, on 19 November 2013, at the House of Estates in Helsinki, an afternoon seminar was held to honour the 100th birthday of Cajander’s famous mire classification system (Über die Moore Finnlands 1913). The seminar gathered together 55 participants. The seminar started with a presentation by Dr Tapio Lindholm (Finnish Environment Institute) on “A.K. Cajander the person and how he came to create the system which has tenaciously kept its power up to present”. After this historical introduction, Dr Kimmo Virtanen (Geological Survey of Finland) discussed how the Cajander theory is applied in geological surveys in Finland, whileas Professor Harri Vasander (University of Helsinki) gave a presentation about how drained peatland forests are also classified by the theory. At the end of the seminar, Dr Markku Saarinen gave a presentation on his newly-published doctoral thesis as a “research checkup” on the subject of “Vegetation succession and the layers of raw humus in drained peatland forest regeneration areas” (www.metla.fi/dissertationes/df164.htm).

4) On 13 November, a seminar called “Peatlands of Finland – Resources or Nature Values?” was held at Finland’s Parliament House in Helsinki. Suoseura had the special opportunity to arrange a seminar together with the Finnish Association of Members of Parliament and Scientists (TUTKAS). The aim of the seminar was to introduce up-todate information concerning the resources of peatlands and peat, peatland forestry, peat energy use, environmental effects, ongoing research and the National Peatland Strategy to the members of the Finnish Parliament as well as to the general public. Nearly 80 participants attended the seminar. A short report on this seminar is published in Suo – Mires and Peat 64 (4). At all seminars there was a vivid discussion about the topics concerned. (See all the seminars and presentations on www.suoseura.fi/toiminta).

Excursions

The traditional autumn excursion was arranged to the mires of western Finland in the middle of September. The main goals of the excursion were to get to know the mires of the land uplift coast and those on acid sulphate soils. 19 members of the Suoseura took part in this two-day excursion. The interesting and diverse programme and guidebook for the excursion was put together by Samu Valpola (Geological Survey of Finland, Kokkola). The excursion started from the “baby” mires on the coastline and ended with an excursion to the world’s biggest energy plant, Alholmens Kraft, which uses biofuel to generate heat and power. In between, we became familiar with the work of the Finnish Forest Research Institute/Metla in Kannus municipality and peatland research sites fertilized by ash, saw Finland’s largest nature conservation site owned by private citizens, learned how to conduct drainage and careful forest management practices on acid soils, and also visited one energy peat production site. The evening programmes included a traditional sauna and a good dinner with joyful company. A report of this excursion by Samu Valpola and Jenni Simkin will be published in Suo – Mires and Peat 65(1) in 2014.

Publications

In 2013, the Finnish Peatland Society published four numbers (1, 2-3 and 4) of the 64th volume of the quarterly journal SUO – Mires and Peat; this issue was 184 pages in total and the number of reprints was 450 (see also www.suoseura.fi/Suo).

Activities in the IPS

Dr Samu Valpola, as a member of the IPS Executive Board, participated in the EB meetings in Leiden, the Netherlands and Tallinn, Estonia. Dr Sakari Sarkkola and Dr Leena Larva participated in the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meetings and Riitta Korhonen, Chair of Suoseura, participated in the SAB meeting as well as in the Annual Meeting of IPS and the National Committee Round Table in Leiden. The Annual IPS Award of Excellence 2013 was given to Professor Harri Vasander, also in Leiden.

Annual Report 2012

Suoseura, the Finnish Peatland Society organized again many activities in 2012. Current research topics and latest research results concerning peatlands were presented in three seminars arranged by Suoseura. Traditionally, the meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attending fees. In addition, a three-day autumn excursion headed to the aapa mires of Eastern Lapland in the beginning of September. The Society also published the 63rd volume of the scientific journal Suo – Mires and Peat.

Meetings and seminars

1) In connection with the annual spring meeting on March, 26th 2012, a half day seminar about “Latest research results of the GHG-fluxes on Finnish peatlands” was held at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in Vantaa. The seminar gathered 55 participants. The topic of the seminar concentrated on GHG fluxes measured mainly on forestry drained peatlands, and on the question “are forestry drained peatlands a source or sink of carbon?”

In four presentations, this topic was examined with different kind of views and with different kind of measurements (Dr. Aleksi Lehtonen, Metla; Dr. Paavo Ojanen and Dr. Kari Minkkinen, University of Helsinki; Dr. Annalea Lohila, Finnish Meteorological Institute; and Dr. Heikki Simola University of Eastern Finland). One presentation of a newly published Ph.D. work also concentrated on the “Use of wetland buffer areas to reduce nitrogen transport from a forested catchment: retention capacity, emissions of N2O and CH4 and vegetation composition dynamics” by Dr. Anu Hynninen. After and during the presentations there prevailed a vivid discussion.

2) The Finnish Peatland Society felt responsibility to arrange a separate seminar on a current topic in Finnish media during the year 2012, on “Environmental loads to water bodies caused by energy, but also by forestry and agricultural uses of peatlands”. A whole day seminar was held on October 17th at the “House of the Estates” in Helsinki, with nearly 80 participants.

Out of the six main presentations, three presentations concentrated on research results of the environmental loads caused by different kind of economical use of peatlands. Firstly by forest drainage, measured by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) presented by Professor Leena Finér. Those caused by energy peat production were measured by Vapo Oy, and results were presented by Research Scientist Anneli Wichmann. Loads from agricultural use were measured by MTT Agrifood Research Finland, and the results presented by Senior Research Scientist Merja Myllys. In the other three presentations, some research results were presented, but mostly ongoing research programmes were introduced. For instance, the research program “Taso” by the Finnish Environmental Institute (measurements of environmental loads caused by peatland forestry and energy peat production in Central Finland) was presented by coordinator Päivi Saari. The lake sedimentation research program was presented by Chief Scientist Samu Valpola (GTK). The results of mapping acid sulphate soils in Finland and the environmental risk of using peatlands in those areas was presented by research scientist Jaakko Auri (GTK).

3) In connection with the Society’s annual autumn meeting at the “House of Science and Letters” in Helsinki on November the 20th, a half day seminar on cultural and sociological research of peatlands, “People on the mire” was held with 30 participants. The main organisers of the seminar were the Institute for Natural Resources, Environment andSociety, the University of Eastern Finland and Suoseura. Dr. Kirsi Laurén acted as the coordinator of the seminar.

In her opening speech, she told about the perspectives of cultural and socionomical peatland research and the main focus in those studies today. The subjects of the presentations included research such as “Mires and peatlands as the frame of households” by Dr. Minna Tanskanen and “The economical and cultural importance of mires in reindeer herding” by Ph.D. student Annika Nyström. “Ecosystem services of mires from the local people’s point of view in Finnish North-Karelia” were presented by Ph. D. student Suvi Silvennoinen.

Dr. Anu Lounela told about local values and the climate change regime in tropical peatlands in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Finally professor Yrjö Sepänmaa gave a speech entitled “The mire – how negative values turn out to be positive”. For all seminars and presentations see www.suoseura.fi/toiminta 2012.

Excursions

The traditional autumn excursion of the Finnish Peatland Society was arranged to the aapa mires of Eastern Lapland in Finland. 30 members of Suoseura took part on this three-day excursion. The marvelous and diverse program of the excursion was planned by the peatland forestry expert Juhani Karjalainen (Metsähallitus. Kemijärvi).

The beautiful natural aapa-mires in autumn colours, peatland nature reserve areas as well as peatland forestry, heat and power plants, possible phosphor mining areas and their environmental questions, tourism on peatlands and arctic hills, not forgetting the agricultural use of peatlands, were included in the program.

Evening entertainment included of course sauna, good meals and good company. Altogether 800 km of travelling by bus went actually quite easily. The travelogue of this excursion, written by Asta Harju and Samu Valpola was published in Suo 63 (3-4) 2012. Pictures of the excursion can be seen at www.suoseura.fi/toiminta 2012.

Publications

In the year 2012, the Finnish Peatland Society published four numbers (1,2, and 3-4 combined) of the 63rd volume of the quarterly journal of SUO – Mires and Peat, with altogether 164 pages. The number of reprints was 450. For more information, see alsowww.suoseura.fi/Suo.

Activities in IPS

The most crucial activity for the members of Suoseura within IPS was to attend the 14thInternational Peat Congress “Peatlands in Balance” in Stockholm, Sweden, June 3 – 8, 2012. Altogether nearly 80 members of Suoseura participated in the Congress. A Congress review by Sarkkola, S. & Korpela, L. (Ed.) entitled “Peatlands in Balance – 14th International Peat Congress in Stockholm, Sweden” was published in Suo – Mires and Peat 63 (3-4): 123-146.

The members of Suoseura participated actively also in the IPS Commission meetings and the Annual meeting of IPS in Stockholm 2012.

Annual Report 2011

The Finnish Peatland Society – Suoseura was again very active in 2011. The year started with a seminar about the ”Balneological, therapeutic and medical use of peat as well as other versatile uses of peat and mires”. The seminar was held to celebrate the Chair of the Society, Senior Researcher Riitta Korhonen’s retirement from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK).

Another whole day seminar was arranged in connection with the annual spring meeting, about the newly published ”Proposal of a national strategy for responsible utilization and conservation of mires and peatlands in Finland”.

“Peatlands in agriculture” was the topic of oral presentations in connection with the regular annual autumn meeting in the end of the year 2011. Traditionally the meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attending fees. Our yearly autumn excursion was arranged in the middle of September to the southern aapa mires in Northern Ostrobothnia.

Meetings and seminars

1) A seminar on “Balneological, therapeutic and medical use of peat and versatile uses of peatlands and mires” was held at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) in Espoo on 8 February 2011 with 100 participants. There were three presentations on peat balneology: Senior Researcher, Mrs. Riitta Korhonen: 20 Years Research on Peat Balneology at the Geological Survey of Finland, Specialist Doctor, Mrs. Leena Larva: A pilot study into the influence of the Finnish peat sauna on the climacteric symptoms of women, and Hair Specialist (B.Sc.) Mrs. Annikki Hagros-Koski: Peat treatments for scalp problems.

The topics of the other six presentations were about the recreational use of mires and peat (Mr. Reino Haanpää), about the therapeutic use of peat as products (MD. Mr. Heikki Ruha), about peat textiles (peat textile artist, Mrs. Papu Marjatta Pirtola), about the former (1996-2000) development programme ”Livelihood from peatlands” and its results, carried out in Western Finland (M.For.Sc., Mr.  Hannu Salo), and how the quite new National Park ”Leivonmäki” with its mires was born in Central Finland (M.Sc., Mrs. Lea-Elina Nikkilä). There will be a special number about these subjects in the first issue of Suo 63(1)/2012 (www.suoseura/suo).

2) In connection with the annual spring meeting at the House of Estates, in Helsinki on 23 March 2011, a seminar about the newly published “Proposal of a national strategy for responsible utilization and conservation of mires and peatlands in Finland” was held.

The seminar gathered 53 participants. At this meeting, experts from different fields explained what kind of changes the new strategy will bring to different sectors using peatlands and mires in the future; in mire conservation (Nature Conservation Controller, Mr. Pekka Salminen, Ministry of Environment,  Nature Conservation Manager Mr. Eero Kaakinen ELY-Centre of Ostrobothnia), in the regional development and planning sector (Project Manager, Mr. Ismo Karhu, Regional Council of Oulu), in peat research (Ph.D., Mr. Kimmo Virtanen, GTK), for energy peat and the peat industry (M.For.Sc., Mr. Hannu Salo, Association of Finnish Peat Industries), in the forestry sector (Manager in Forestry Mr. Hannu Niemelä, Forestry Development Centre Tapio), in agriculture (Senior Researcher, Mrs. Merja Myllys, MTT Agrifood Research Finland), in mire and peatland restoration (Senior Researcher, Mrs. Kaisu Aapala), in the  balance of Carbon emissions and sources (Ph.D., Mr. Kari Minkkinen, University of Helsinki), and how the new strategy succeeded in taking all these sectors in consideration (Senior Inspector, Mr. Aimo Aalto, Ministry of Employment and the Economy). At the end of the seminar, also a panel discussion was arranged.

3) In connection with the annual autumn meeting on 22 November 2011 with 20 participants, two oral presentations were held. The subjects of the presentations were the research of agricultural use of peatlands and its environmental effects by Senior Researcher, Mrs. Merja Myllys (MTT Agrifood Research Finland) and how the new farmland cleared on peatlands in the 2000s is a big challenge for climate and agriculture politics in Finland by Ph. D., Mrs. Kristiina Regina (MTT Agrifood Research Finland).

Excursions

1) A spring excursion to the mires of Belarus was arranged in co-operation with the Finland-Belarus Society (www.svvs.fi ). Suoseura offered the possibility to take part in this excursion to its members during 5 – 10 May 2011. A report with numerous photos by Dr. Pertti Lahermo has been published in Suo 62 (2)/ 2011 and also on the Society’s website: www.suoseura.fi.

2)The traditional autumn excursion was arranged to the southern aapa mires of Ostrobothnia region in Finland. Thirty members of Suoseura took part in this two-day excursion. The purpose of the excursion was to get acquainted with how the new peatland strategy works in practise and also to get familiar with the new mire programmes of that area and especially to see the beautiful aapa mires. A summary of that excursion (by Dr. Eila Tillman-Sutela) will be published in Suo 63(1) 2012.

Publications

In 2011, Finnish Peatland Society published the 62th volume of the quarterly journal of SUO (Mires and Peat), with altogether 74 pages and 450 copies. More information is available at www.suoseura.fi/Suo.

Activities in the IPS

In every IPS Commission, there is a national representative from the Finnish Peatland Society.
Many members of the Finnish Peatland Society attended the IPS meeting in Quebec City, Canada in June.  Also many of our members have been actively taking part in the arrangements of the 14th International Peat Congress, to be held in Stockholm, 3-8 June 2012, during the  year 2011. More information about the Finnish Peatland Society can be found at www.suoseura.fi.

Riitta Korhonen, Chair
Leila Korpela, Secretary

Annual Report 2010

The activities of Finnish Peatland Society – Suoseura in year 2010 concentrated mostly on three occasions. Big effort of the members of Suoseura as well as the Organizing Executive Board was the work with the preparation of the National Strategy of Mires and Peatlands of Finland. Traditionally two regular annual meetings for members; spring and autumn meetings, were arranged with oral presentations and a seminar about current topics concerning mires and peatlands. At the spring meeting, the topics of the presentations was “the environmental effects of peatland forestry”.

In connection of the autumn meeting, a seminar titled: Finnish Peatland Society and International Peat Society (IPS): Review to the strategies of peatland and mire management (see: www.suoseura.fi) was arranged. The meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attending fees.

Meetings and seminars (see also www.suoseura.fi)

I Meeting,
The Annual spring meeting, 16th March 2010, in Helsinki

14 attendants) followed by lectures:
– Ph.D. Riitta Väänänen, Phosphorus retention in forest soils and the functioning of buffer zones used in forestry in Finland (based on her Ph.D. –work) (www.metla.fi/dissertationes)
– Ph.D. student Paavo Oja (Helsinki University), The greenhouse gas emissions of peatlands drained for forestry in Finland – based on (Metla’s) measurements on forested peatland sample plot network.

II Meeting, the Annual autumn meeting, 25th November 2010,
at House of Estates, Helsinki (60 attendants) (http://www.suoseura.fi/eng/index.html)

The seminar started at 10.00 am and the topics of the morning were:
– Welcoming words –  Riitta Korhonen, Chair of the Finnish Peatland Society
– Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management –  Donal Clarke, President of the IPS
– What is IPS? – Björn Hånell, First Vice President of the IPS
– Review to the Strategy for Finnish Peatland and Mire Management – Jaana Kaipainen, Secretary General of the Working Group, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The morning session was ended by the presentation of Björn Hånell
– Towards the next Peat Congress in Stockholm 2012.
The topics of the afternoon concerned the activities of Finnish Peatland Society in different IPS Comissions and the Comissions were presented.
The seminar ended with the Annual Assembly of the Finnish Peatland Society.

Excursions

Suoseura was partly responsible for arranging the two days field trips in the connection of IPS Convention 2010 in Jyväskylä, Finland, 14-18 June.

So, instead of the traditional autumn excursion, the members of Suoseura were offered the possibility to attend the Field trips of Peat Technology and After-Use of Peatlands 17-18 June 2010, in the vicinity of Jyväskylä and Tampere area. Especially, the after-use field trip was popular among the members of Suoseura as well as the members of IPS other nationalities.

Publications

The journal of SUO (see also www.suoseura.fi/Suo)
In year 2010, Finnish Peatland Society published the 61th volume of the quarterly journal of SUO (Mires and peat), with altogether 94 pages and number of reprints 450.
Since 2005 the whole scientific articles of Suo are also published in the website: www.suoseura.fi/Suo.

Activities in IPS and in its Commissions

In Finnish Peatland Society’s activities in IPS includes the arrangements of the Field-trips of IPS Convention 2010, in Jyväskylä, june 2010.

Suoseura, Finnish Peatland Society also arranged together with the IPS Commission VI the Balneological Symposium of IPS in Kurikka, Finland, 2-4 September. The Symposium was called the “Round Table on the Use of peat in Balneology, Medicine and Therapy”. There were altogether 20 participants from Germany, Estonia and Finland.
(see the short report in: Peatlands International 2/2010).

Many of the members of Finnish Peatland Society took actively part in reviewing and commenting the final version of the IPS Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management.

Annual Report 2008

The activities of the Finnish Peatland Society – Suoseura in 2008 have been many. Suoseura arranged two regular meetings for its members, traditionally in spring and autumn. Connected to every meeting there were presentations or lectures about current topics concerning mires and peatlands. The meetings were open to anyone interested.

This year, an autumn excursion was arranged to the mires of South-East Finland. Because so many members of the Finnish Peatland Society, about fourty, participated in the Tullamore Congress, the number of our own excursions and meetings was one less than usual.

Meetings and seminars

Annual spring meeting, 11 March 2008, Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA), Vantaa (20 attendants), lectures on the after-use of cut-over peatlands:

  • Managing director Hannu Salo (Ecotrac Oy), Presenting the new book, “Guide of after-use methods for cut-away  peatlands”
  • Ph.D. (For.) Niko Silvan (Metla, Parkano Research Unit), Production of Sphagnum biomass in cut-away peatlands – a new annexation!

Annual autumn meeting, 18 November 2008, Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA),Vantaa (34 attendants), presentations on:

  • – Assessment of the threatened habitat types of Finland (Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE), special part on threatened mire habitat types of Finland
  • – M.Sc., Senior researcher, Aira Kokko (SYKE), background and methods
  • – Lic. Phil., Managing director of nature conservation, Eero Kaakinen (The Environment Center of Northern Ostrobothnia), Results
  • – M.Sc., Senior researcher, Kaisu Aapala (SYKE), Spruce mires as an example of threatened mire habitat types

Excursion to Kymenlaakso

The traditional autumn excursion of the Finnish Peat Society took place from 16 to 17 September 2008 and visited the mires of South-East Finland in the areas of Kouvola, Hamina, Lappeenranta and Lake Saimaa.

Altogether 42 members of Suoseura took part in this excursion. The peatland researchers of the Geological Survey of Southern Finland, Dr. Markku Mäkilä and Mr. Ale Grundström were the main guides and organizers. In addition to the members of Suoseura, Mrs. Marie Kofod-Hansen (TorvForsk), Mr. Magnus Brandel (Swedish Peat Producers’ Association), Mr. Stefan Östlund (Neova Ltd.) from Sweden and Mr. Erki Niitlaan (Estonian Peat Association) from Estonia also took part in this excursion.

The first day started with a visit to the Mustila arboretum in Elimäki municipality.  Over 100 years old, it is the largest arboretum in Scandinavia. The next sites were the mires of Valkmusa National Park, comprising the largest natural mires of the littoral zone of Southern Finland.

Afterwards, Jari Jääskeläinen from Vapo Oy guided us through a new peat production area at Vehkaoja, which was in the preparation phase – the area had been drained first for forestry – to an old  peat production area at Haukkasuo mire, where peat production had started already in the 1940s and will soon be finished. For overnight, we travelled to the shores of Lake Saimaa, to the holiday center Saimaanranta in Taipalsaari.

On the second excursion day, we first visited the sub area of the city of Lappeenranta, where we saw a very old peat layer formed over 10,200 years ago. This was found in connection with construction works. The next place visited was something other than soft peat –  a museum of jewels in Ylämaa municipality and a granite quarry of Palin Granit Ltd. The war history became familiar at Miehikkälä where we visited the defence line of Salpalinja. In the Ruokolammensuo mire, near the town of Hamina, the peat layer transgression of the Litorina Sea and the method of taking peat samples with a peat drill became familiar.

Just before we started on the way back home, we heard a presentation by forest ecology Ph.D. student Paavo Ojanen from the University of Helsinki on his research in co-operation with the Finnish Forest Research Institute, where the CO2 gas exchange on peatlands drained for forestry is measured and simulated. A travel report, written by Iida Kämäri is available in Finnish: Suoseuran syysretki Kaakkois-Suomen soille. Suo 59(3): 89-93.

Publications

In the year 2008 the Finnish Peatland Society published the 59th volume of the quarterly journal SUO, comprising altogether 146 pages and printed in 600 copies.

The Society has also published a new book: Korhonen, R., Korpela L. and Sarkkola, S. (eds.), Finland – Fenland,  Research and sustainable utilisation of mires and peat. The book was published at the same time also in Finnish as “Suomi-Suomaa”. The book comprises 14 main themes and 38 different sub-themes of recent knowledge in all different fields concerning the peatlands and mires of Finland, written by 42 experts in their own fields. The official publication day of the books was the 10 September 2008. The price of the English version is € 58 including mailing costs and it can be easily ordered at the IPS website.

Activities in IPS and its commissions

About 40 members of Finnish National Committee participated in the 13th International Peat Congress in Tullamore, Ireland in June. The Finnish members have also actively taken part in other IPS meetings and as national members in IPS Commissions and Working Groups in 2008. More information on activities and publications can be found at www.suoseura.fi.

Germany

Contact Persons

Dr. Andreas Bauerochse

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Moor- und Torfkunde e.V.
Stilleweg 2
D-30655 Hannover
GERMANY

phone: +49 152 31 89 82 84
web: www.dgmtev.de

Jörn Kasch

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Moor- und Torfkunde e.V.
Stilleweg 2
D-30655 Hannover
GERMANY

Arne B. Hückstädt (industry)

Industrieverband Garten e.V. (IVG)
Wiesenstraße 21 a1
D-40549 Düsseldorf
GERMANY
www.ivg.org

Annual reports

Annual Report 2018

Many events were undertaken by the German Peat Society (DGMT), partially with other institutions:

  • Two expert workshops entitled “Definition and Classification of Peat Soils” took place in cooperation with the German Soil Science Society (DBG) in Berlin on January 9, 2018, and in Hannover on May 28.
  •  The 17th Seminar on Peatlands and Peat was held in Zeven, Lower Saxony, on April 27-28, 2018. This annual seminar adopted the character of a training course, in which laypeople, employees from the peat industry, and students were introduced to peat and peatland science.
  • Again, in 2018, the Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation (NNA) in Lower Saxony, together with the DGMT, organized the annual expert seminar, “Conservation of Peatlands in Lower Saxony – An Exchange of Experiences” in Camp Reinsehlen on May 17-18, 2018.
  • A workshop on phosphorus leakage from peatland into water, organized by DGMT Section 5, Müritz, October 8-9, 2018.
  • The Fourth Sphagnum Moss Identification Course was organized at the MoorInformationsZentrum in Ahlenmoor, Lower Saxony, on November 8-11, 2018.

Please go to www.dgmtev.de/veranstaltungen to view upcoming symposiums, workshops and seminars in 2019 and 2020.

DGMT members were also involved in meetings and seminars at the municipality and federal level, such as the “Dialogue on Peatland Management”, as part of the Peatlands in Lower Saxony Program, hosted by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection, the Lower Saxony Peat Replacement Forum, the Guidance and Coaching Mire Protection Working Party and Peat Under Water.

TELMA 48, our national yearly published journal with articles and reports relating to peat, mire and peatlands, was sent to all members in December 2018. More than 200 articles published in previous TELMA issues can now be found online at https://www.fidgeo.de/telmaonline-2/.

In 2020, the German Peat Society will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Check our website at www.dgmtev.de and join us!

Annual Report 2017

Meetings and Seminars

An expert workshop entitled ‘Definition and Classification of Peat Soils’ took place in cooperation with the German Soil Science Society (DBG) in Hanover on 7 March 2017.

The 16th Seminar on Peatlands and Peat organized by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Moor- und Torfkunde e.V. (DGMT), i.e., the German Peat Society, was held in Zeven, Lower Saxony, on 12-13 May 2017. This annual seminar adopted the character of a training course, in which laypeople, employees from the peat industry and students were introduced to peat and peatland science.

Again in 2107, the Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation (NNA) of Lower Saxony, together with the DGMT, organized the Annual Expert Seminar ‘Conservation of Peatlands in Lower Saxony – An Exchange of Experiences’ in Schneverdingen on 17-18 May 2017.

Operational aspects of nature conservation for tourism and environmental education in peatlands were explored at an interdisciplinary workshop in Kloster Drübeck (Nationalpark Harz) on 22-23 May 2017. Discussions during the workshop centred on how peatland conservation, tourism and environmental education can benefit from each other.

The Annual Assembly and excursions of the DGMT took place in the Hunsrück Mountains on 20-23 September 2017. Seventy-six members took part and listened to 17 oral and six poster presentations covering local peatlands, rewetting and revitalization of sloping mires, agriculturally used peatlands, peat moss cultivation, greenhouse gases, peat decomposition, pollen analytics, climate change and climate protection. The highlights of the two excursions were interesting stops in the Hunsrück Nationalpark and in the West-Eifel, where different types of peatlands are presented.

After 16 years as Chair of the DGMT, Dr Gerfried Caspers chose not to run for another term. His successor is Dr Andreas Bauerochse. A report about the Annual Assembly can be read in TELMA 47, 2017.

Experiences in the rewetting of bogs in the Eider-Treene-Sorge Lowland were exchanged in Friedrichstadt/Schleswig-Holstein on 12-14 October 2017. The Foundation for Nature Protection and the State Office for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas (LLUR) Schleswig-Holstein organized this meeting in cooperation with the DGMT.

A sphagnum moss identification course was organized by the DGMT at MoorInformationsZentrum in Ahlenmoor, Lower Saxony, on 9-12 November 2017.

Meetings and Seminars involving DGMT Members:

  • An expert talk entitled ‘Water Management and Mire Conservation’ was organized by the Greifswald Mire Centre and the DGMT in Schüberg/Hamburg on 6-7 June 2017.
  • German Grassland Day (Deutscher Grünlandtag) on
  • 22-23 September in Stemshorn/Dümmer.
  • Paludiculture: a national conference entitled ‘Klimaschutz und Moornutzung: Potentiale in Deutschland’ on 25 September.
  • Second International Conference on the Utilization of Wetland Plants RRR2017: Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands on 26-28 September 2017 in Greifswald/Germany.
  • Third International Sphagnum Farming Workshop on 29-30 September in North-west Germany.
  • Workshop by the German Landscape Conservation Group (Deutscher Verband für Landschaftspflege e.V. (DVL)) entitled ‘Consultation and Coaching in Mire Conservation’ on 21 November in Berlin.
  • 5. Ausseer Naturraumgespräche: ‘Between Soil and Water – Ecosystem Mire’ on 24-25 October 2017 in Bad Mitterndorf/Austria.
  • 52nd German Peat and Humus Day on 23 November 2017 in Bad Zwischenahn.
  • International Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture on Organic Soils (CAOS) on 23-24 November 2017 in Uppsala/Sweden.

Publications

TELMA 47 – the DGMT’s yearly published journal with articles and reports relating to peat, mire and peatlands.

All activities and publications of the DGMT can be found at www.dgmtev.de. The website is also available in an English version.

 

Annual Report 2013

In 2013, the German Peat Society (DGMT – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Moor- und Torfkunde e. V.) organized many activities and some of them became regular events, such as the “DGMT Seminar and Excursion on Peatlands and Peat”, a training course in which laypersons and students are introduced to peat and peatland science.

Some other selected events include a workshop with excursions on “Current Peatland Conservation: Implementation in the Niederlausitzer Heidelandschaft & Faunistic Aspects”, organized by DGMT-Section I (geosciences) and Section V (nature conservation) in cooperation with the forest authority of Brandenburg and the Niederlausitzer Heidelandschaft Nature Reserve; a workshop on “Perspectives for a Sustainable Use of Peatlands in Lower Saxony” and a symposium on “Climate Relevance of Peatlands and Peaty Soils”, held in Freising/Bavaria.

In connection to this, the Annual Assembly of the German Peat Society summarized the latest research about greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands, rewetting, research on humic substances and environmental education. An annual assembly report can be read in TELMA 43, 2013. Seventy members participated and listened to 18 oral and seven poster presentations. PDF files of the presentations can be found at www.dgmtev.de/veranstalt_jt_2013.html.

A new flyer on the issue of “Why are peatlands meaningful archives?” has been published and can be downloaded at www.dgmtev.de/publikationen_flyer.html. Prof Dr Renate Klöcking and Herr Prof Dr Dr Hans-Peter Klöcking have received awards for their efforts within humic substance research. For his long-standing and enduring merits, Prof Dr Volker Schweikle has been granted the DGMT honorary membership.

The German Peat Society consists of 325 individual and 64 corporate members. Activities of the German Peat Society can be found at www.dgmtev.de.

Annual report 2011

Sabine Jordan & Gerfried Caspers

Activities of the German Peat Society (DGMT – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Moor- und Torfkunde e. V.) can be found at www.dgmtev.de.

Symposia and seminars organized by DGMT

17.-19.3.2011: „Peatlands and Water – facing a position“, held by DGMT-sections I and V in Plön/Schleswig-Holstein. http://www.dgmtev.de/downloads/ploen_2011/programm_ploen_2011.pdf

5.-7.4.2011: „Peatlands in climate change – Peatland conservation as a chance for climate, biodiversity and water resources“, held by DGMT-section III in cooperation with the Bavarian state office for environment in Augsburg/Bavaria.

6./7.5.2011 and 23./24.9.2011: „DGMT-Seminar and excursion on peatlands and peat”, held in Zeven/Lower Saxony.
This twice a year offered seminar has the character of a training course where laypersons and students get introduced to peat and peatland science.

22./23.6.2011: „Rewetting of raised bogs – why does it not work everywhere?”, held in Schneverdingen/Lower Saxony. A seminar report can be read in TELMA 41, 2011.

30.6./1.7.2011: „Facilities, operation and maintenance of field railways in tourist and museum institutions“, held by DGMT-section VII in Diepenau-Essern/Lower Saxony. A conference report can be read in TELMA 41, 2011.

25.8.2011: „Biodiversity and climate impact – peatlands potentials for nature, economy and society“; in cooperation with the BUND regional association Lower Saxony and the county Diepholz in Wagenfeld.

14.-17.9. 2011: Annual assembly of the German Peat Society (DGMT), held in Meppen/Lower Saxony. An annual assembly report can be read in TELMA 41, 2011. 87 members participated and listened to 17 oral and 7 poster presentations. PDF-files of the presentations can be found at www.dgmtev.de/veranstalt_jt_2011.html

28.-30.9.2011: Workshop on “Peat and Humic Substances”, held by IPS Commission IV and DGMT-section IV in Zittau/Saxony.
Organized by the Institute of Process Development, Peat and Natural Products (iTN) of the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz in cooperation with the International Graduate School (IHI) Zittau, the workshop was highlighted by new findings in peat and humic substance analysis under the headline ”Current research in chemical, physical and biological characterization of peat”. A workshop report is published in “Peatlands international” 2/2011.

6./7.10.2011: „Peatland conservation in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – an interim result“, held in Salem/Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in cooperation with the state office for environment, nature protection and geology Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Publications

The German Peat Society published volume 41 of Telma with 14 scientific articles, a yearly renewed documentation of publications around peat and mires and several reports about symposia.

Furthermore, a supplement volume of Telma (no. 4) was published. It contains the proceedings of the symposium “Peatland conservation in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – an interim result” with 14 scientific papers and covers 248 pp.

The German Peat Society is presented on a new flyer that can be ordered or downloaded at www.dgmtev.de.

Support of students

The German Peat Society gave financial support with an amount of 200 € to 3 students for their  participation in the Sphagnum workshop in New Brunswick, Canada during june 2011. A financial support with the same amount is available for 7 students to participate in the International Peat Congress in Stockholm. Students have to present their investigations oral or by poster and have to write a report about the symposium.

Annual Report 2009

All activities of the German Peat Society (DGMT – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Moor- und Torfkunde e. V.) can be found at www.dgmtev.de. The website is also available in an English version.

Meetings and seminars organized by DGMT

The „DGMT-Seminar and excursion on peatlands and peat” was held in Zeven, Lower Saxony on 17 – 18 April and 18 – 19 September 2009. This yearly offered seminar has the character of a training course where laypersons and students get introduced to peat and peatland science.

The “4th Annual Meeting of the European Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS)” was held in Erkner near Berlin on “Progress and problems in wetland science – with a particular focus upon wetland restoration in Europe” on 20 – 24 May 2009. The meeting, visited by 75 researchers from 21 countries, was organized by the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in cooperation with the Environmental and Geological Survey (LUNG) of Mecklenburg-Pommerania and the German Peat Society. Within several sessions the meeting’s main focus dealt with rewetting of degraded fens and their hurdles concerning nutrient and greenhouse gas release. A guided field trip to the EU-life project area “Lake Galenbecker See” and “Anklamer Stadtbruch” in north-eastern Germany was organized.

The 3rd Symposium “Peat and Humic Substance Preparations in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Body Care” took place in Bad Langensalza, Thuringia on 26 – 28 May 2009. Within a national scope, the symposium gave room to 30 participants coming from research and practice to present findings and to inform about current tendencies in the field of peat and humic substance preparations. The topics were diversified, from process engineering of peat conditioning, bio-compatibility assessment of isolated humic substance fractions and the development of a peat mash bandage in the 19th century, up to the vision of a photo-protective lipstick based on peat. Manufacturers of peat and humic substance preparations presented their products, but a further important task was to intensify networks between industry and science in the field of peat and humic substances and to find suggestions for co-operation. Two peatlands being in revitalization have been the object of a guided excursion to the biosphere reserve Vessertal in the Thuringian Forest.

On 25 – 28 June 2009, a “Workshop on Mire Conservation in Germany and Poland” was held in Kostrzyn, Poland. The workshop was organized by the German Peat Society Section V on Nature Conservation and Spatial Planning in cooperation with Warsaw Agricultural University.

Aim of this workshop was to bring together peatland experts from Germany and Poland for discussing strategies for peatland conservation and restoration as well as developing better cooperation between partners in both countries. A guided one day excursion to the Wartha national park was included. More information can be found at www.pnujsciewarty.gov.pl.

The Annual Assembly of the German Peat Society (DGMT) was organised in Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuerttemberg on 23 – 26 September 2009. 80 members took part and listened to 25 oral and poster presentations running different topics like nature conservation, restoration projects, greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands and physicochemical aspects, pollen analytics and landscape history, reconstruction of a peatland landscape from the iron age, climate change and climate protection, the use of peat in culture substrates, investigations on plants chlorosis in peat substrates, decision support systems and advisory tools for the use and protection of peatlands. For all presentations, please go to www.dgmtev.de. The two excursions (one half-day) were highlighted by interesting stops at the Rhine lowland and the Hornisgrinde in the northern Black Forest where different types of peatlands were presented. The report on the Annual Assembly can be read in TELMA 39, 2009.

Organisation

Within the National Committee a new section on applied geography and environmental education has been established.

Publications

Flyer “Was haben Moore mit dem Klima zu tun?” (Peatlands and climate – any interactions?) http://www.dgmtev.de/downloads/DGMT_Flyer_2009_Web.pdf

Telma 39 – Articles and reports of the German Peat Society

Indonesia

Contact Persons

Prof. Supiandi Sabiham

Indonesian Peat Association
Bogor Agricultural University
Wing 12 Level 5
Jl.  Meranti,  Kampus Dramaga
Bogor 16680
INDONESIA

phone:+62 251 8629360

Prof. Fahmuddin Agus

Indonesian Soil Research Institute
Indonesian Center for Agricultural Land Resources Research and Development
Jl. Tentara Pelajar No. 12
Bogor 16114
INDONESIA

phone: +62 251 8336757

Prof. Budi Intra Setiawan

Indonesian Peat Association
Bogor Agricultural University
Jl. Meranti, Kampus Dramaga
Bogor 16680
INDONESIA

phone: +62 251 8629 360

Annual Reports

Ireland

Contact Persons

Dr. Catherine O’Connell

Irish Peat Society
Irish Peatland Conservation Council
Bog of Allen Nature Centre
Lullymore, Rathangan
Co. Kildare
IRELAND

web: www.ipcc.ie

Pat Fitzgerald

Bord na Móna p.l.c.
Main Street
Newbridge, Co. Kildare
IRELAND

ww.bnm.ie

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2018

In 2018, the Irish Peatland Society arranged a meeting focusing on new peatland research being undertaken in Northern Ireland. The two-day meeting consisted of a field trip, an AGM and a research seminar. The meeting was based in the Cuilcagh Mountain Park, home to a blanket bog habitat, which straddles the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The AGM and seminar were held in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

On the field excursion, participants were informed about three major projects underway in Northern Ireland: Collaborative Action for the Natura Network (CANN), Cooperating Across Borders for Biodiversity (CABB) and Understanding Blanket Bog Ecosystems (QUBBES). We were also given a demonstration of restoration works completed on part of the Cuilcagh Mountain blanket bog, which had been cut using “sausage” peat machines.

Important information and new skills will result from these three projects, including an analysis of the complex relationship between plant life and hydrology on blanket bogs and the impacts this has on water quality and runoff. In addition, the projects will examine ways to offset the effects of nitrogen deposition on peatlands and how to ensure that the restoration of peatlands makes them resilient to climate change.

At the seminar, there were invited talks as follows: “Revision of the IPS Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management” by Professor Jack Rieley, “Conservation Status of Peatlands in Northern Ireland” by Dr Richard Weyl, “The CANN Project” by Dr Trish Fox, “The QUBBES Project” by Francis Mackin and Sorcha Cahill, and “Peatlands and Climate Change” by Dr Florence Renou-Wilson. The seminar was chaired by Donal Clarke.

Annual Report 2017

The Irish Peatland Society ran a very successful two day field trip and conference on the theme of People and Nature: enjoying the Land or Impacting the Environment? The meeting took place on the 17th and 18th of October and included a field trip to a selection of sites in the Wicklow Mountains located on the east coast of Ireland close to the capital of Dublin that are being impacted by visitors. These included: Glenmalure where the group where shown how issues of access across private farmland to Lugnaquilla Mountain were resolved through the provision of an agreed access route which is maintained by the local farmer; Wicklow Way Walking Trail to see the site of an accident and to hear about a compensation court case taken by a walker involved in the accident against the state; Glenmacnass Waterfall where visitors impact on national park land as the area is unmanaged and Fancy Mountain/Luggala where visitors are trampling privately-owned blanket bog habitat as they climb the mountain.  The trip was made possible thanks to the co-operation of Mountaineering Ireland and in particular Helen Lawless who designed the itinerary.

On the 18th October a conference was held and the Society heard talks by three experts on the theme of access. We learned that it is essential for those involved in providing access to peatland sites to ensure that they undertake regular monitoring and reporting on the condition of visitor facilities. This includes maintaining paperwork and diaries of actions taken that can be examined by authorities should an incident occur. Furthermore the Society were warned about the power of social media in attracting huge volumes of visitors to sensitive peatland habitat cannot be under-estimated and the Society heard about the example of the “Stairway to Heaven” social media phenomenon in the Cuilcagh Mountains of Co. Fermanagh which brought thousands of visitors to the mountains and which has resulted in extensive damage and habitat loss in this Special Area of Conservation. Thanks to all the field guides and speakers who combined to make this one of the great Irish Peatland Society trips that will be remembered because it occurred in the aftermath of Storm “Ophelia” on a beautiful sunny day in the Wicklow Uplands. All praise to the Glenmalure Lodge Hotel who provided candlelit breakfast and dinner beside a comfy log fire despite the cuts in electricity. The whole experience was magical.

Members of the Irish Peatland Society attended the International Peatland Society Meeting in Aberdeen presenting posters and papers on a variety of topics relating to peatlands in Ireland. In addition the Irish Peatland Society developed a new logo which aims to reflect the fusion of interests of peatland conservation, management, development and culture in the society.

Annual Report 2014

The main event of the Irish Peat Society in 2014 was the organisation of the Annual Meeting, Study Tour and Seminar to the Slieve Bloom Mountains in Co. Offaly. This two day event took place in October and was based in the Tullamore Court Hotel in Tullamore town.

Over 50 members took part in the field meeting, seminars and workshops over the two days. On the first day the group visited a variety of peatland sites in the Slieve Bloom Mountains where we met with experts from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Coillte to see the work being done on blanket bog afforestation, habitat management, visitor control and the monitoring of birds of conservation concern including Red Grouse and Hen Harrier. Site visited included the Ridge of Cappard, Monicknew, The Cut and the Glenlahan LIFE restoration site. In the evening the group had a tour of the Tullamore Dew Distillery with dinner and music.

On the second day following the AGM, members heard talks from Dr John Feehan on the relationship between People and Peatlands and Conor O’Raghallaigh gave an update on the National Peatland Strategy. These were followed by two workshops on Managing Upland Peatlands given by Dermot Tiernan and Community Conservation Education by Catherine O’Connell.

Throughout the year the Committee met on seven occasions to work on the upcoming meeting in Tullamore 2015 which involved developing a conference theme, master classes, poster sessions, fireside sessions, field trips, web site, social programme and schools competitions.

The Irish Peat Society also continued to update our Facebook site during the year with relevant news: www.facebook.com/pages/Irish-Peat-Society/190659956823.

Annual Report 2013

The main event of the Irish Peat Society in 2013 was the organization of the Annual Meeting, Study Tour and Seminar to Killarney in Co. Kerry. The two day event took place in October and was based in the beautiful Lake Hotel in Killarney town. It was the red deer rutting season which added much to this wonderful location. Over 50 members took part in the meeting over the two days. On the first day the group visited a variety of peatland sites in Kerry which showcased work being done on blanket bog education and management. Site visits were undertaken on Sheheree Bog SAC, Glencar Bog SAC and carbon study site, Killarney National Park Education Centre, Dromalonhurt Restoration site, Kerry Bog Village Museum and the Natterjack Toad farm management project.

On the second day following the AGM, members heard talks about the Raised Bog Conservation Assessment, the National Peatland Conservation Strategy, the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, The Upland Blanket Bog Survey, The Stacks Mountains and the Management of Blanket Bog Uplands using Dexter Cattle.

The Irish Peat Society continued to update our Facebook site during the year with relevant news.

Annual Report 2011

Last October the Irish Peat Society (IrPS) returned to the scene of the 2008 Congress when the 6th Annual General Meeting of the Irish Peat Society was held in the Court Hotel, Tullamore in conjunction with the annual seminar and field trip.The executive committee met several times to plan the event and decided that as Ireland is currently developing a National Peatland Strategy, the IrPS should use this as the theme for its annual get-together.

The two day event took place on 18th and 19th October and was well attended by a variety of stakeholders including state, industry, private and NGO interests. The workshop theme was “Towards the development of a Peatland Strategy for Ireland”. The structure of the event included a one day field trip focusing on Clara Bog in Co. Offaly which is a designated Special Area of Conservation in Ireland. The participants in the workshop were briefed on location by Jim Ryan of the National Parks and Wildlife Service about the habitat importance of the site and the challenges that damage to the site in the past now present for current and future management. We also had a very interesting discussion with David Wilson on the Greenhouse Gas Budget for the bog. At lunch time we visited Clara House and were shown a peat balneology treatment and were also taken on a tour of the Clara Bog Visitor Centre which opened in 2011. From there the group travelled to a Bord na Móna site that is being developed as a relocation option for private turf-cutters no longer permitted to continue on SAC’s such as Clara Bog.

In the evening there was a very enjoyable gala dinner with peated-whiskey tasting in the Tullamore Court Hotel!

On the second day six papers were delivered to participants. We were very fortunate to have two members from other national committees of the International Peat Society speak at our conference.   Tarja Vayrynen gave a paper on the Development of the Finnish Peatland Strategy while Gerfried Caspers gave a paper on Peatland Management in Germany. In addition the President of the International Peat Society –  Donal Clarke gave a paper on the Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management. Dr Florence Renou-Wilson gave a paper about the newly published Environmental Protection Agency’s BOGLAND report, Dr Catherine O’Connell of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council gave a talk on the Lessons Learned in Canada and the final paper was delivered by Conor Skehan, the Chair of the Peatlands Council entitled Developing a Peatland Strategy for Ireland – Take Home Messages.

Earlier in the year members of the Irish Peat Society attended the IPS meeting in Quebec. This very successful meeting showcased a diverse range of peatland projects from all over the world which provided valuable material and ideas that members can use in Ireland.

Dr Catherine O’Connell,
Chair, Irish Peat Society

Pat Fitzgerald
Secretary, Irish Peat Society

Annual Report 2009

The 4th Annual General Meeting of the Irish Peat Society and the annual conference were held in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois on Tuesday, 20 October 2009.  The theme of the conference was Abbeyleix Bog Restoration and Conservation. The very good attendance of over 50 people was given a report on the Society’s activities during the year, in particular in relation to the work of the Executive Committee in developing a Business Plan and in participating in the IPS project to write a Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management (SRPM).

Following the AGM in the morning, the first part of the day was given over to a walk on Killamuck (Abbeyleix) Bog which is a partially drained raised bog undergoing rehabilitation. The focus of the field walk was on the peat forming habitats present and the effects of drain-blocking using peat dams on the hydrology of the raised bog.

Following the walk, a number of presentations were given providing background information on Abbeyleix Bog including an outline of vegetation surveys and management work undertaken to date, the role of the local community and the opinion of independent ecologists on the project. Mr. Jim Ryan of the National Parks and Wildlife Service also provided an update on the status of Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) in Ireland. The presentations and the field visit led to lively discussions on future management issues and the potential to enhance the value of the site to the local community in terms of education and nature awareness. The session was chaired by Chairperson of the Irish Peat Society, Dr. Catherine O’Connell and there were members of a number of relevant agencies present including Coillte (national forestry company), National Parks and Wildlife Service, BirdWatch Ireland, Irish Peatland Conservation Council, ecological consultants and local community representatives.

Despite a promise of rain, the day was mostly sunny and the good turn-out of Irish bog men and women led to a thoroughly enjoyable event. The Irish Peat Society would like to thank everyone involved for their support and contributions.

Annual Report 2008

As in recent years, the activities of the Irish Peat Society last year again focussed mainly on preparatory work for Congress-08 that culminated in a very successful Congress in Tullamore in June. Almost 600 people attended the event from 30 different countries spanning each of the continents except Antarctica. Using the sporting analogy we believe that the Tullamore Congress “raised the bar” for the next Congress in four years time. We received numerous messages of thanks and congratulations and everyone involved should feel good and proud at such a satisfactory outcome.

The positive feedback on content and organisation was very pleasing to the Organising Committee. The reaction to the memory-stick proceedings was generally good and Field trips, Accompanying Persons’ tours and the Post Congress tour were very well received. A number of social and cultural events were also included in the rather full programme for the week. Due in particular to the very generous level of sponsorship received towards the financing of the Congress, the Organising Committee was in a position to cover its costs and produce a surplus for the Irish Peat Society.

On behalf of the Irish Peat Society I wish to express our sincerest gratitude to all who helped to make the 13th International Peat Congress held in Tullamore last June so successful and memorable. Your support was very helpful. In particular our thanks must go to the IPS Secretariat as well as to all those colleagues who participated in the Scientific Committee and reviewed submitted presentations and posters and finally to the people who took on the often challenging role of chairing a session. Whereas it would have been very difficult to stage the Congress without the financial assistance of our many generous sponsors, it would have been impossible to run the activities and proceedings without your good selves. The Irish Organising Committee is forever grateful.

At the IPS Annual Assembly held in Tullamore on the final day of the Congress, the outgoing Chairman of the Irish Peat Society Donal Clarke was elected President of the International Peat Society. This is a signal honour for Ireland’s peat community and the Irish Peat Society wish to congratulate Donal and wish him well in his stewardship of the IPS over the next four years.

Also at the Annual Assembly Catherine Farrell was elected as Chair of Commission V. The Irish Peat Society is also honoured by this event and extends its good wishes to Catherine in her endeavours on peatland after-use on behalf of the IPS.

The 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Irish Peat Society was held in the Radisson Royal Hotel Dublin on Tuesday 21 October 2008. The moderate attendance was given a report on the Society’s activities during the year, in particular in relation to the staging of the 13th International Peat Congress in Tullamore in June.

The AGM was immediately followed by a seminar, the theme of which was “Turf-cutting on Natura 2000 sites – problems and solutions”. The programme of presentations included the EU perspective, the farmer/landholder viewpoint and a rather stark outline of the Irish situation in relation to the conservation management of raised bogs given by National Parks and Wildlife.

A new Executive Committee was elected for a four-year term. The Officers are: Chairman, Catherine O’Connell; Vice-Chairman, Catherine Farrell; Secretary-Treasurer, Pat Fitzgerald. The other members are: Caitrona Douglas, Roy Tomlinson and Donal Clarke. John Feehan decided not to go forward for re-election to the Executive Committee and the Irish Peat Society wishes to record its appreciation of the service rendered by both Donal Clarke and John Feehan who are stepping down from the positions of Chairman and Vice-chairman respectively.

Japan

Contact Person

Mitsuri Osaki

Japan Peatland Society
Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University
Kita-9, Nishi-9, Kita-ku
Sapporo 060-8589
JAPAN

phone: 011 706 2554

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2017

 

Board Members

Mitsuru Osaki (President), Shigeo Kobayashi (Vice President), Takashi Hirano (Vice President), Hirosi Hayasaka (Director general), Mitsuhiko Kamiya (Account general), Akira Haraguchi, Mamoru Kanzaki, Takashi Kohyama, Osamu Kozan, Takashi Inoue, Kohsuke Mizuno (Auditor), Noriyuki Kobayashi (Auditor)
Office staffs: Hidenori Takahashi, Yohei Hamada

Annual Meeting

Date: 17-18 June 2017
Location: Amami Culture Center, Amami City, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Collaborating academic societies: Japan Society of Tropical Ecology (host), Japan Society for Southeast Asian Studies, Japan Association for African Studies, Japanese Coral Reef Society, Japanese Society for Thai Studies, Japanese Society for Tropical Agriculture, Japan Society for Mangroves, Japan Society of Island Studies

General Assembly

Date: 16 June 2017
Location: Naze Community Center of Amami City
Agenda: Business and Accounting Reports for FY2017, Business Plan and Budget for FY 2018.
Report: 1. Collaboration with the BRG, Republic of Indonesia; 2. Collaboration with International Peatland Society

Co-organized Meetings

  1. Meetings between the BRG, the IPS and the JPS on peatland restoration in Indonesia
    Date: 31 May 2017
    Location: Marriott Hotel, Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland
  2. First Tropical Peatland Roundtable: Establishing Responsible Management of Tropical Peatland –jointly organized by the IPS, the BRG and the JPS. Tropical Peatland Roundtable released ‘Jakarta Declaration’ with five pillars:

Establish a ‘tropical peatland centre’
Organize an ‘international committee for technical consultation’
Develop an ‘integrated monitoring system’
Organize a ‘model project’ for responsible management
Achieve capacity building

The ‘Jakarta Declaration’ has become one of indicators for establishing and international tropical peatland centre (tentative) in Indonesia, which will promote capacity building at a domestic and foreign level.

Meetings

Date: 1-2 November 2017
Location: Menara Peninsula Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia
Field trip: In collaboration with Palangkaraya University
Date: 3-5 November 2017
Location: Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Presented Papers

  1. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emission from Forest/Peatland by the Green Economy in Indonesia
    Date: 10 April 2017
    Location: Ito International Research Center, University of Tokyo
    Organizer: JICA
    Guest speakers:  Dr Siti Nurbaya (Minister of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia) and Mr Nazir Foead (Head of the BRG, Indonesia)
    Report on the activities in Indonesia: Made by JICA, and the university (Professor Mitsuru Osaki) and private sectors
  2. Peatland Convention 2017: Responsible Management of Peatlands
    Date: 28-31 May 2017
    Organizer: IPS and UK Peat Society
    Location: Marriott Hotel, Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland
    Presentations by JPS members: Mitsuru Osaki, Kohsuke Mizuno, Hidenori Takahashi etc.
  3. UNFCCC COP23 Japan Pavilion, Japan Event Side: Real-time Ground Water Table Monitoring at Tropical Peatlands – Experience from Indonesia
    Date: 11 November 2017
    Organizer: JICA
    Location: Japan Pavilion in Bonn Zone, COP23, Bonn, Germany
    Presentations by JPS members: Mitsuru Osaki and Hidenori Takahashi
  4. Seminar on hydrology and peat management in Central Kalimantan
    Date: 12 February 2018
    Organizer: IJ-REDD Project
    Location: Management Office of Sebangau National Park, Palangka Raya, Indonesia
    Lecturing by JPS members: Professor Sawahiko Shimada and Dr Hidenori Takahashi

Latvia

Contact Person

Ingrida Krigere

Latvian Peat Association
Ernestines Str 24
LV-1046 Riga
LATVIA

phone: + 371 29106008

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2017

In 2018, the association continued its work on the Future Strategy for the Sustainable Use of Peat for 2018-2030. Using the information provided by the association, the official strategy project has been initiated in accordance with Latvian regulatory enactments and in coordination with ministries and non-governmental organizations. The strategy is led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. By the adoption of the strategy, the industry will have a clear development perspective and receive future investments.

Given the active work of the association, the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia adopted amendments to the Law on Subterranean Depths at the end of 2017 (the law sets out requirements for the use of peat and other mineral resources). The amendments will ensure stability for peat extraction companies, which lease land from the state or local governments (public land) for the extraction of peat. In Latvia, two thirds of the peat extraction areas are public land. With the introduction of amendments, the duration of the license for the extraction of peat and the duration of the lease can be set up to 75 years; in practice, this means until the end of the resource extraction. To date, the maximum terms of the license and lease were both 25 years. With the introduction of the new regulation, we will also ensure the conscious management of resources and the possibility for entrepreneurs to plan activities from the beginning of extraction to the end of recultivating the extracted areas. The association continues its cooperation with the appropriate ministries by submitting its proposals for the improvement of regulatory enactments relevant to the industry.

The association continues to be a partner of LIFE Restore project, which began on 1 September 2015 and will run until 31 August 2019. The main objective of the project is to develop recommendations for the sustainable management of degraded peatlands in Latvia. One of the project activities is based on the sample analysis of greenhouse gas emissions collected during field measurements to approbate a methodology for the accounting of these emissions, as developed by climate experts from the UN. The measurements of greenhouse gas emissions taken in 2017 show that the actual greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands in Latvia are significantly lower, by up to two times, than the internationally determined emission factors used in the Latvian GHG inventory reports.

The Baltic Peat Producers Forum was held in Latvia, Riga, from 13 to 14 September 2017. The forum is organized on a rotational basis by the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Peat Associations. This year, it was the turn of the Latvian Peat Association and the topic was ‘Peatlands – Research, Production, Recultivation and the Factors Influencing It’. The forum was attended by 306 participants from 16 countries, alongside 15 mini expo participants.

At its own expense, the association organized a workshop and practical demonstration on peat bog research for the employees of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, the State Environmental Service and the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre (a public limited company). State institutions expressed great interest and 40 employees participated in the training. Participants gave highly positive feedback about the event and suggested that such practical training should be continued.

2017 was unfavourable for peat extraction. In August, rainfall was 20% above the norm and, in September, it was 68% above the norm. The rainfall was particularly heavy in East Latvia, where the amount of rainfall increased sharply in the middle of June, with flooding at the end of the summer. The summer was unusually cool and the number of sunny days was low. Official figures for peat extraction in 2017 are not yet available; but, according to the association’s estimates, the harvest in 2017 was 851,600 tonnes.

Annual Report 2014

The last year (2014) has been very busy for the IPS Latvian National Committee. From the very beginning of the year, preparations took place for the major event of the year – the International Peat Technology Symposium. In March, the new Board of the Latvian Peat Producers’ Association took office, with Ivans Cupruns as the Chairman.

The peat extraction season in 2014 was not as fortunate as in 2013, when weather conditions were benign for extracting 1.2 million tonnes of peat. We can estimate from the Association members’ data that the peat production in 2014 has been about 0.8 million tonnes. It was not just the rainy summer that hindered the peat producers’ work last year, but also the Russian embargo-related transport problems at the end of the year.

In general, the Association has carried on its good work just as before. We have a new member, Silu Kūdra, SIA, and a new honorary member, Zdeneks Buholcs. We also continued environmental improvement work. While the Association members sponsored the construction of a boardwalk in Cenas Bog in 2013, the scenic viewing platform destroyed by vandals in Sigulda was restored in 2014. Likewise, the Association organized a roundtable discussion with state institutions and other organizations involved in environmental protection with the aim of seeking solutions to the problem of the peat sector’s survival under increasingly stringent environmental requirements. The participants were taken on a field trip to a peat company, showing them the extraction process – explaining its gains – and the production of peat substrates. The next discussion will be followed by an excursion to a natural mire guided by nature protection specialists.

We also continued work on reintroducing the use of peat in the energy sector. This work has drawn the attention of state institutions to other problems in the peat sector. The work will go on, and we expect growth in the yield of fuel peat this summer.

Several peat companies worked on the renaturalization of peat extraction sites last year, utilizing the experience of Canada and Germany and the knowledge gained at IPS conferences. The results will be seen in the coming and the next spring.
To conclude this retrospective on the last year, I would like to thank all participants, sponsors, supporters and organizers of the International Peat Technology Symposium and the 14th Baltic Peat Producers Forum. The event was attended by about 350 participants from 26 countries. We hope that you had a well-spent time here in Riga, not only acquiring new information and exchange of experience on peat extraction, processing and technologies, but also enjoying tasty food, beautiful nature and great music!

Annual Report 2013

The year 2013 has been very dynamic for the Association: the summer blessed us not only with beautiful weather but also with an abundant harvest of peat; we have had great and sunny annual sports events, and we have admitted new members, including one Honorary Member – Juris Nusbaums – over the course of the year.

We have built a plank-way and a tower in Cenas Mire, and also put up boards with peat sector-related information. The video clip we distributed to the media attracted a large number of first-time visitors to the mire and perhaps showed the peat sector from a different perspective.

It is also worth noting that Ansis Šnore has finished his hard toil on the long-awaited book on peat production (Kūdras ieguve) this year. Following some discussion, we have decided to change the logo of the Association, along with updating the Association’s website. Besides this, we also started organisational work for the International Symposium of Peat Technologies this year. We have started to follow the European trend of considering peat as a raw material for substrates and, accordingly, have been working on the Responsible Peat Production (RPP) certification. Likewise, we have started to work on reclaiming for peat its rightful place in the energy sector – as fuel in heat generation. This will create 450-500 jobs. A total of 700,000 tonnes of peat per year could be harvested for energy generation just from those areas where peat production has already been licensed. This new economic activity in Latvia would benefit the economy and reduce the outflow of money to Russia for purchasing gas.

According to the estimate of the Latvian Peat Producers’ Association, peat production in 2013 has reached a symbolic milestone of one million tonnes (the official data on mining are only made public in May), which is about 0.3 million tonnes more than in 2012 (0.7 million tonnes) and can be explained by the relatively dry spring and summer. At the same time, peat exports have decreased in 2013 compared to 2012 by 64,000 tonnes, amounting to a total of 1,096,292 tonnes, worth 73.5 million Lats.

Equally importantly, the sector reached another symbolic milestone last year: peat was exported to 101 countries worldwide, seven countries more than in 2012. For comparison: in 2003 we exported peat to 53 countries. In 2013 we ceased exporting peat to Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, while starting export to 10 countries: Iceland, Kyrgyzstan,
North Korea, Montenegro, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nicaragua, French Polynesia, Seychelles and Yemen. The main export countries have been the same for several years: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Peat export to Germany, Japan, Syria, Sweden, Lithuania, South Africa, et al. has dropped, while significantly increasing to China, the UK, Austria, Denmark, Turkey, Peru, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Brazil, et al.

Finally we warmly invite you to join us in Riga – the European Capital of Culture – for the International Peat Technology Symposium 2014 and 14th Baltic Peat Producers Forum in August 2014 (www.peat2014.lv)!

Annual Report 2012

The year 2012 for the Latvian Peat Producers’ Association, which also functions as the IPS Latvian National Committee, was rich in events and changes. A new Board was elected at the Association’s Annual General Meeting on 22 March. Furthermore, the Association acquired new office spaces and a new Executive Director.

This year, the Association also witnessed a rapid growth in membership: there were 5 new fullmembership members, 1 associate member and 1 honorary member admitted, thereby increasing the total current membership to 33. Moreover, we were admitted as an associate member of EPAGMA.

Like before, the Association goes on with keeping track of developments and changes in the peat sector, submitting proposals and expressing opinions on a variety of issues important for the sector, both internationally and locally.

We continue to actively promote peat as a local energy source in various publications, in the mass media, as well as in meetings about “Energy Strategy 2030” and in conferences. The topic of the Science Night 2012 was “The Story of Energy”. One of the ways how the Association participated in this widely attended public event was the preparation of the exhibition “Peat and Energy” in the Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences of the University of Latvia.

We have started several new projects: support for establishing a peat production museum; a LIFE+ project on the impact of peat extraction field drainage networks on pristine areas of bogs; and a study of peat accumulation rates. Besides that, the Association supported a couple of other interesting projects this year: the delivery of peat sculptures to the International Peat Congress and building of an educational peatland trail in Cena Mire.

The former project shows that peat can be used not only in such sectors as agriculture, livestock farming and generation of energy; it can also have artistic applications. Building of plankways and a viewing tower and fitting up educational stands in Cena Mire, in turn, gives people a chance to learn more about the peat production sector, to see peat extraction fields and to enjoy a beautiful raised bog landscape.

We continue our successful cooperation with Professor Laimdota Kalniņa from the University of Latvia. As part of her telmatology course, she takes students and teaching staff to peat production enterprises to show bogs from the perspective of peat production. Thanks to her, Association members were invited

to participate in the Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia (January 2013); and Ivans Cupruns from “Pindstrup Latvia” gave his report about the management of peat extraction fields in Lielsalu Mire and their after-use, and encouraged students to make their studies about re-naturalization of the cutover peatlands in Latvia.

There were two more events that are definitely worth noting. Both are annual events, and both were perfectly organised and had a large number of participants. Of course, these were the Baltic Peat Producers’ Forum (BPPF, Tallinn, 5 – 7 September) and the Association’s Sports Games (17 – 19 August). The next BPPF will take place in Vilnius, and the upcoming Sports Games at Ķegums (26 – 28 July 2013).

The Latvian Peat Producers’ Association suggests to mark and reserve 26 – 29 August 2014, when several important events in one are going to take place in Riga at the Radisson Blue Hotel Latvia: the International Peat Technology Symposium, the Baltic Peat Producers’ Forum, and the IPS Annual Assembly.

Annual Report 2011

Members of the Latvian Peat producers’ Association (IPS National Committee of Latvia) met several times during this year whether it was in all members meetings or in open Board Meetings. Some of them were dedicated to most important topic – Baltic Peat Producers’ Forum as it was our turn to organize it. At the end of the year another important issue raised by State Stock Company “Latvia’s State Forests” request to give Association proposal to increase rent for the peat extraction territories. As this question is rather complicated it was decided to create Work Group consisting of representatives from both sides that will try to find most appropriate solution for this problem. Association provided proposals also for the laws and regulations.

Before the season meeting for peat extractors and representatives of state institutions was organized. Representatives presented the latest changes and updates in legislation that affect or could affect peat extractors in Latvia.

In the one of the Annual reports of IPS National Committee of the Netherlands we can read that old-fashioned hands-on knowledge about peat and peat dikes are disappearing and similar problem is observed in Latvia – specialists in peat winning are retiring and their knowledge is disappearing. Therefore Association in collaboration with Mr.Ansis Snore – Honorary Member of IPS and LPPA are preparing manuscript for the book ”Peat winning”. The main themes of the book are as follows:   peatlands, peat and peat deposits; drainage, preparation and repair of the peat winning area;   peat winning; designing. The book will be useful for all those dealing with peat extraction as well for students in relevant specialities. The book will be in Latvian.

Data about extracted peat volume in 2011 has not yet been compiled. Admittedly, last year was not really successful because second half of the season was spoiled by unfavourable weather conditions – strong and frequent precipitation.

During the summer two different workshops for artists took place. The results – peat sculptures were exhibited at the Baltic Peat Producers Forum. As there have been great interest about the sculptures similar workshop will be organized also in 2012.

One of the events where peat people and their families can come together is Association Sport games. This year they could have fun by Lake Usmas in many interesting sports.

As it was mentioned above 11th Baltic Peat Producers’ Forum took place in Riga. This time theme of the Forum was “After-use of cut-over peatlands: measures and methods”. At the first day participants could take part in excursion to small brewery in Bauska or have an interesting excursion to Old Riga. Second day traditionally is dedicated to different presentations and forum dinner. Ivans Cupruns(Chairman of the Board, Latvian Peat Producers’ Association), Rolands Bebris (Minister of Environmental protection and Regional development) and Jaakko Silpola (IPS Secretary General) opened the Forum. Prof.Laimdota Kalniņa and Juris Nusbaums introduced attendees with peatland recultivation problems in Latvia. Prof.Jaanus Paal gave interesting presentation about progress and problems in sustainable usage and protection of mires in Estonia. Dr.Romas Pakalnis told about possibilities of cut – over peatbog restoration in Lithuania and Dr.Mara Pakalne about her experience with raised bog restoration in Latvia. Later on Bernd Hofer spoke about his experience in Germany with different after-uses of cut-over peatlands during the last decades”. Last presentation before the discussion had Hein Bonn about the Dutch project „Responsibly produced peat”. After seven presentations attendees had a lot of questions and they could ask in the discussion part that was chaired by Dr.Norbert Siebels. After the lunch Giedrius Kavaliauskas had a presentation about Lithuanian Peat Producers Association, peat extraction and weather conditions and the problems they are dealing with: fires and their prevention and draft law on the tax on natural resources. Erki Niitlaan form Estonian Peat Producers Association spoke about weather and production at 2011 and news and events of 2011. Prof.M. Klavins afterwards informed about peat usage as sorbent, Oskars Purmalis continued with presentation „Peat humic acids and their application possibilities”. Colleagues form Belarus D. Sc., Academician I.Lishtvan and Valery Kovalov reported about peat resources and their usage in Belarus. Marie Kofod-Hansen and Gunilla Öberg invited all attendees to the 14th International Peat Congress in 2012. Georgij Sicov informed about radiolocation sounding application possibilities in geological mapping of peatlands. Konstantsin Pachepka introduced with “Vitebskoblgas” new peat factory, but Marc Peray with Premier Tech Chronos new Technologies. Rob van Rijnswou from Slootweg Machinefabriek had presentation about fire safety in peat factories in combination with machine equipment. Jazeps Kivlenieks presented Agrovita Technologies.

On the third day of the Forum field trip to Amatciems and Sigulda were organized to see how boggy meadows can be transformed into a beautiful village with many ponds and hillocks.

The number of participants – little bit more than 200 shows that the interest about the Forum is growing every year (to compare – there were 97 participants in 2008).

Our neighbours and colleagues Estonian Peat Association celebrated 150 years Anniversary of Peat Industry and we would like to thank them for invitation, for interesting conference and wonderful evening afterwards.

Association has collaborated also with University of Latvia, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences by giving several lectures and excursions to Association member companies. The aim is to show peatlands not only from environmental but also from economic point of view.

Annual Report 2009

Currently the Latvian Peat Producers Association has 24 members, two of which are associated members, one individual member and five honorary members.

The Annual Meeting of Latvian Peat Producers Association was held on 19 March, 2009 on the cruise ship “Regina Baltica” from Riga to Stockholm. The general meeting discussed the report of the Board, the Revision Commission, welcomed new members and approved the income and expenditure estimate of 2009. The participants enjoyed also an excursion through Stockholm.

Association members had a meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Environment, State limited liability company “Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre” JSC Latvijas valsts mezi (State forests of Latvia) in February 2009. During this meeting our members were instructed in the latest changes in the legislation.

JSC “Latvijas valsts mezi” developed together with the Association auction rules for one of their supervised territories for peat extraction.

The Association held its 7th Sport Games in July 2009 in Rojas district, organized by “Pindstrup Latvia Ltd”. In the team ranking, the first place was taken also by the host company. The next Sport Games will be organized by JSC “Seda”.

Association members participated in the 9th Baltic Peat Producers Forum that was held in Tartu. Our members found it very interesting. Thanks’ to the organizers – the Estonian Peat Association!

Finally, the Latvian society knows a little bit more about peat production because of several broadcasts in National TV about some of our corporate members.

IPS Latvian National Committee applied to organize the 15th International Peat Congress in 2016 in Riga, Latvia. The final decision will be made at the Annual Assembly 2010 in Finland by the IPS National Committees present.

The Association also restored the “K?dras zi?as” informative issue for our members and started to update and improve our webpage at www.peat.lv.

Annual Report 2008

Currently there are 24 members in the Latvian Peat Producers Association; two of them are associate members, and five honorary members. The members of the Latvian Peat Producers Association extract 74% of all extracted peat in Latvia. One of the members has left the Latvian Peat Producers Association, but at the end of 2008 one new associate member joined – Laimdota Kalnina, professor from the University of Latvia, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences. She is researching formation and development of mires and is involving students in these activities, such as our project manager Ilze Gorovneva.

There have been some changes in the structure of LPPA. Up to finishing her Master’s thesis, “Reconstruction of palaeovegetation at the North Eastern area of Ancient Burtnieks Lake”, Ilze Gorovneva was working as Secretary, but after graduating she has been working as Project Manager. At the moment she is finalizing her Doctoral thesis “Natural and human induced Holocene environmental and climate change recorded in lake and bog sediments of Northern Latvia”. In early December Ilze gave birth to her first son. Uldis Ozols took care of her duties during  the maternity leave.

The Annual Meeting of the Latvian Peat Producers Association was held on 28 March in the guest house “Aitinlauvas”. In the general meeting, four topics were discussed, including the Board’s report, the revised Commission report, a welcome to new members and the approval of income and expenditure estimates for 2008.

The Latvian Peat Producers Association held its 6th Sport Games on 27 – 28 July 2008 in the Madona district, this time organized by “Livanu Kudras fabrika”. Besides the usual sports, fishing and street ball, there were several very interesting sports – blind volleyball, blind orienteering, rolling of a horse cart wheel etc. For the first time, the Association administration attended with their own team. In the team rankings the first place was taken by “Pindstrup Latvia”. This company will organize the next Games on the coast of the Gulf of Riga at the sports complex „Dzintarkrasts” on 10 – 12 July 2009.

Also in 2008, the LPPA Board decided to make some changes to the existing Certification system of the Latvian Peat Producers Association (KRASS) and confirmed a new Certification Commission that consists of the following specialists: A.Snore (Chair), Z.Jurass, S.Viss and A.Lacis.

KRASS was developed and is operating in Latvia, or more precisely, its first phase was developed in detail and it is now operating in Latvia. The objective of introducing a certification system is to improve the quality of peat products and ensure environment-friendly and sustainable use of peatlands in Latvia. The KRASS certificate acknowledges the philosophy of the certified company to work at a high technical level, following the regulations of environmental protection. LPPA received a request for a certificate from Ltd. Laflora in November 2008 which was approved after inspecting Kaigu Bog.

The LPPA Board had a meeting with JSC Latvijas valsts mezi, LVM – State forests of Latva in February 2009. During this meeting several very important questions were discussed:

  1. Improving cooperation of LPPA with LVM;
    2. LVM long term strategy in peatland management;
    3. Principles of rental charges for peatlands provided for extraction;
    4. Lease agreements with peat extractors, LPPA members

Conclusions were:

  1. LVM will organize Salenieku mire auction;
    2. LVM representatives will inform LPPA about auction rules before sale.

The traditional forum of representatives of Baltic peat producers was held on 3 – 5 September 2008 in Jurmala, Latvia. The issue of this year’s Forum was “Peat in Life”. Besides participants from the Baltic States, delegates from Ukraine, Belarus, Germany, Russia and the Netherlands attended the seminar, totalling to 97 participants.

Mr. Valerijs Kozlovs, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Peat Producers Association opened the Forum. All the participants had a chance to hear several very interesting presentations. Mr. Edmunds Belskis, representative of the Ministry of Economics, spoke about the business environment in Latvia. Dr. Norbert Siebels, Vice Chairman of the European Peat and Growing Media Association (EPAGMA) reported on the socioeconomic impact of the peat and growing media industry on horticulture in the EU, Mr. Albinas Cernauskas, Director of the Lithuanian Peat Producers Association, and Mr. Erki Niitlaan, Director of the Estonian Peat Association, reported on current peat industry activities and the main tasks for the next year. Mr. Agris Lacis, Managing Director of the Latvian Peat Producers Association, discussed mires and peat in Latvia and last, but not least, Ms. Triin Triisberg gave the presentation “Cut-over peatlands, needs for their restoration and experience”. Delegates from the Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus gave presentations about the peat industry in their countries. A joint field trip was organized to Kaigu Bog.

Four delegates from Latvia, Valerijs Kozlovs, Andis Gredzens, Peteris Romanovskis and Ilze Gorovneva attended the 13th International Peat Congress in Tullamore and gave two presentations: “Mire stratigraphy and resources in Latvia” (authors: L.Kalnina, A.Lacis, V.Kozlovs) and “Stone Age settlements on peatlands in Latvia” (authors: L.Kalnina, A.Cerina, I.Gorovneva, V.Berzins).

The Association is continuing its collaboration with Belarus. Chairman of the Board, Valerijs Kozlovs attended a Belarus – Latvia Intergovernmental Commission sitting that was held on 16 – 17 October 2008 in Minsk. During this meeting questions on economic and scientific-economic cooperation were discussed. The Commission recommended organizing a Latvian specialist training at Belarusian universities with regard to peat extraction. Later in individual meetings, V.Kozlovs discussed organizing summer practice in our companies for students of the Technical University of Belarus

Lithuania

Contact Persons

Giedrius Kavaliauskas

IPS Lithuanian National Committee
Kauno g. 17
LT-53387 Ezerelis, Kauno rajonas
LITHUANIA

Phone: +370 375 34260

Giedrius Giparas 

IPS Lithuanian National Committee
Lithuanian peat producers association
A.Vienuolio g. 8
01104 Vilnius
LITHUANIA

www.asocdurpes.lt

Ugne Radziunaite-Sutjeviene

IPS Lithuanian National Committee
Lithuanian peat producers association
A.Vienuolio g. 8
01104 Vilnius
LITHUANIA

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2018

The 2018 season was a success for Lithuanian peat producers as the weather was particularly favorable. The entire year was exceptionally dry with an average of 50 mm of rainfall per month. The hot and dry summer as well as autumn led to a fruitful season. As a result, nearly 3 million m³ of peat were harvested by members of Lithuanian Peat Producers Association. This was the best result in the last three years and almost reached the level of 2015.

New Members

Two individual members joined the Lithuanian Peat Producers Association in 2018: Dr Jurate Sendzikaite and Mr Nerijus Zableckis.

Dr Jurate Sendzikaite is a researcher with the Lithuanian Institute of Botany at the Nature Research Center. Her field of expertise, e.g., is scientific research and projections into the status and change of Lithuanian nature and biological resources, conservation, restoration and sustainable use of mires, meadows and forests ecosystems, and Sphagnum growing experiments.

Dr Sendzikaite is a mire expert with the NGO Lithuanian Fund for Nature, whose activities include mire restoration, ecology, biodiversity conservation and protected areas management. She is also a Doctor of Biomedical Sciences (Botany), and her PhD thesis was entitled The Structure, Productivity and Development of Meadow Phytocenoses on the Hilly Agricultural Landscape of Eastern Lithuania (2002).

Membership of Professional Bodies:
Lithuanian Scientific Society, since 2002
Member of the Society for Ecological Restoration International (SERI) and SER Europe, since 2005
Member of the IPS, since 2018

Mr Nerijus Zableckis has been dedicated to nature conservation since his youth, as he grew up in remote area of Western Lithuania, which is surrounded by bogs and forests. Currently, he works for the Lithuanian Fund for Nature as a Project Manager. Mainly, he is involved in peatland restoration and conservation projects related to biodiversity and mitigation of climate change. Recently, he has been leading a project which is expected to develop a new approach to peatland restoration through active usage, so-called paludiculture. “It is hard, but I like challenges, which is why I am in peatland conservation”, says Mr Zableckis.

Baltic Peat Producers Forum 2019

At the end of the year, the Lithuanian Peat Producers Association started planning the most important event of the year for the peat industry – Baltic Peat Producers Forum 2019. Today, we are excited to be able to invite you to Palanga, which is a white sandy beach resort on the eastern cost of the Baltic Sea. The event will take place on September 4-6, 2019. So, get ready!

Dear Sponsors,

We kindly invite you to join the Baltic Peat Producers Forum 2019, where you can make new friendships, as well as contribute to the main event or one of the supporting events running alongside.

This year, we are expecting 300 participants including peat producers, suppliers, equipment manufacturers, environmentalists, scientists, representatives from peat serving industries, old acquaintances and new colleagues.

As usual, we hope that the forum will be attended by willing guests from different places of the world. So, we encourage you to become a sponsor of the event and use this great opportunity to promote your company, and the innovations and technologies you drive, to the wide range of participants.

Please find bellow available sponsorship packages:

PLATINUM SPONSOR (1 position): fee from EUR 6,000
GOLDEN (2 positions): fee from EUR 3,500
SILVER (3 positions): fee from EUR 2,500
BRONZE (5 positions): fee from EUR 1,500
DINNER SPONSOR (1 position): fee from EUR 3,500
ATTRIBUTES SPONSOR (1 position): fee from EUR 1,500
“ICE-BREAKING” PARTY SPONSOR (1 position): fee from EUR 2,000
MINI-EXPO STAND (10 positions): fee from EUR 1,000

For more details, please telephone +37062055021 or email info@peat.lt.

 

Annual Report 2014

Organizational changes

Mr Giedrius Kavaliauskas was re-elected President of the Lithuanian Peat Producers Association for a second term. Mr Giedrius Giparas was elected new Director of the Lithuanian Peat Producers Association. He can be contacted at giedrius.giparas@asocdurpes.lt.

Season

The season of 2014 was successful even though the amount of peat extracted was slightly less (2.598 million m3) than in the previous year (2.7 million m3).

New life for old peatlands

The country has launched an inventory of damaged lands, which will determine the number of degrading drained peatlands and those no longer used. It will declare what area of the total land they occupy and what their condition is. The Lithuanian Geological Survey under the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania expects to collect these data until the end of 2015. According to the information gathered, it will be decided which of those no longer used peatlands can be used for peat extraction, and which of them need recultivation for wetland ecosystems to recover.

Peat industry specialties presented to school students

The Klasmann-Deilmann group of companies in Lithuania is actively involved with students’ professional orientation projects. The programme is dedicated to senior students in general education schools and presents them with different areas of employment, professions and career prospects. This policy of companies’ social responsibility contributes to processes of education and the motivation of young professionals, as well as to their career planning.

Fuel peats

Recently, in a climate of geopolitical tensions between East and West and a high dependence on external energy suppliers, the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania has seen opportunities for the sustainable use of non-conventional hydrocarbons as well as for fuel peat, which Lithuania has been known for and has been using for centuries. The Vice Minister of the Ministry of Environment several times discussed the issue with the Lithuanian Peat Producers Association.

The International Biomass Energy Conference was held in November. Lithuanian and other countries’ experts presented on international and national-level biomass energy technologies, trends, political decisions, problems and prospects. In addition, the conference had a focus on local energy resources – fuel peat – as a means to increase Lithuania’s energy and economic security.

The Lithuanian Peat Producers Association is making efforts to ensure that the use of energy peat in the country reaches at least 1 TWh per year.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania praises Klasmann-Deilmann group of companies

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania expressed his personal gratitude to the Klasmann-Deilmann group of companies in Lithuania for their active involvement and contribution to the development of the regions in the country. The acknowledgment of these merits was made during the 25th anniversary of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists – the biggest employers’ organization in the country.

LIFE+

June 2014 was marked by the international seminar in Aukstumale bog (Silute region), which was the first Lithuanian bog described in a scientific monograph. An event was held under the EU financial instrument LIFE+.

Replanting of Sphagnum

The company Rekyva was the first enterprise in Lithuania that undertook to restore depleted peatlands by employing a method involving the intensive artificial replanting of Sphagnum. Such Sphagnum planted areas are annually recovering a 5-7 cm layer of peat and ensuring a natural peat bog development process that utilizes the same vegetation that used to grow there before the harvesting of the peatland.

This kind of recultivation work was first launched in the peat bog of Rekyva in spring 2014. Peat moss (Sphagnum) was planted in an area of 0.5 ha. Employees of the company have made use of the Canadian experience – over 3,000 hectares of peat extraction fields in that country have already been successfully rehabilitated using this method. The initial results received by the Rekyva through its Sphagnum replanting operations also allow for an optimistic outlook.

It is important to note that the abovementioned approach that Rekyva is applying allows for a significant reduction in the greenhouse effect, and ensures that the process is safe and natural, and moreover that the natural environment with the specific flora and fauna that existed before the bog harvesting operations is restored and preserved for future generations.

 

Annual Report 2012

The Lithuanian National Committee of IPS arranged the following activities in 2012:

  • A reporting meeting of the Association was organized.
  • An International forum with the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists was held on the topic “Peat industry and its perspectives”
  • A law amendment on the fire safety rules for peat bogs was made, which was agreed upon in all Governmental institutions.
  • A contract was signed with the scientists of Kaunas Institute of Technology about the study preparation on the development of fuel peat usage in the Lithuanian energy sector. Various works of regulation with the Government have been started.
  • A newly prepared peat accounting methodology was agreed upon in the Lithuanian geology service.
  • Participation in the IPS Congress in Stockholm.
  • Participation in the Forum “Baltic Peat Producers”, Tallinn.
  • Intensive discussions on energy issues with governmental institutions have been started.
  • On October 19, 2012 EPAGMA confirmed the membership of the Lithuanian Peat Producers Association.
  • Participation in an EPAGMA meeting in Brussels.
  • Discussions of the Baltic States’ associations of peat companies about IPS strategy, supported by EPAGMA works, i.e. the certification system “Responsible peat production”, in Riga.
  • A meeting with Estonian geologists was organized in Vilnius. Information and experiences were shared.
  • On 14th December – final meeting of the association members.
  • Christmas period, greetings.

 

Annual Report 2011

Summary of Lithuanian peat companies’ association “Lithuanian Peat” works of 2011:

  • Various questioning actions in the Parliament, Government about the government’s proposal to increase the peat resources fee by 3.2 times.
  • Actions with the EU Lithuanian members of parliament about the acknowledgement of peat resources as a slowly renewable natural raw material.
  • Articles, speeches on the radio, television and other public space about the problems of the peat industry.
  • Discussions in Lithuanian industrialists’ confederation, Parliament about the amendment project of the Law on Earth Depths Rent, which is unfavorable for peat companies.
  • Acceptance of new members into the association: these are four Lithuanian peat extraction companies and one foreign – German geological research company..
  • Reporting meeting of the association members.
  • Prepared economic assessment peat business study and presented to the association members and the Government.
  • Association website was renewed.
  • Association attributes produced – association logo metal badges.
  • Started preparation of study about the improvement, amendment of fire protection normative legal acts for peat companies and their adjustment with responsible institutions.
  • Contacts with the Greens movement and their financial support.
  • Preparation and participation in the forum of Baltic countries in Riga.
  • United conference with “Achema” concern group about more intensive use of fuel peat as energy raw material in Lithuania.
  • Visit and congratulation of Estonian peat industry on the 150th anniversary of peat industry.
  • Prof. Jurgis Vidmantas’ honor nomination awards for the most worthy employees of Lithuanian peat companies.
  • Final 2011 meeting of association members.
  • Christmas period, greetings.

Association’s executive director
Juozas Daukantas

 

Annual Report 2010

Several important events were carried out by the Association “Lietuviškos durp?s“ in 2010.

General Meeting of the Association members was held in the beginning of March. Due to economic crisis, two companies left the Association in the beginning of the year therefore association did not received planned revenue and in the beginning of the year association started with extra activities when preparing for organization of a traditional Baltic Peat Forum.
The Association had 13 members in 2010.

During the course of the year, urgent problems of peat industry companies and actions planned were tackled in the Association Board meetings which were convened every quarter. In one of such meetings held on 31 May Eugenijus Strašinskas, the General Director of peat company “Ežer?lio durp?s“, was honoured on his 60th anniversary and awarded a medal of famous Lithuanian peat industry worker and scientist prof. Jurgis Vidmantas, issued by the Association.

On the Governmental level of the Republic of Lithuania Association took part in meetings together with Associations of other industries, which were attended by the Government, the Parliament members and other executives of the country. There were active attempts to include peat into a Governmental program on the national development of the use of energy from renewable sources for 2010 – 2020, so that a share of renewable energy sources would reach 23 percent of the country’s total energy consumption in 2020 and peat as slowly renewable raw material would be used in biofuel mass. Yet, due to the concept of “biomass” included into the Directive 2009/28/EB of the European Parliament and of the Council dated 23 April 2009, peat was recognised as natural material of biological origin, and we did not succeed to be included into the Governmental energy program.

With the above situation possibilities for fuel peat usage in energy sector are very limited.

Another issue solved with the Association’s efforts was the decision of the government to treat peat industry as a branch of agricultural industry when it comes to employment during the seasonal work period. Employees of peat extraction companies were allowed to work up to 12 hours per day during the said period without violating the stated annual total working time calculation. The said decision enables peat companies to reduce hiring unprepared labourers from the labour exchange during the working season.

A great deal of effort was required for work in the Parliament regarding a proposal of Seym to increase the tax on peat resources 5.32 times, though the tax has already been increased before and it came into force as since 1 January 2010. So far, an agreement was reached that the tax draft proposed is not well-grounded and requires additional analysis. Members of Peat Producers Association are concerned about the future discussions regarding the tax increase, having in mind that with the country’s budget deficit it is hard to discuss with state institutions with the help of arguments.

Therefore, the Association started preparing an exhaustive study of peat industry in Lithuania, which is expected to contribute to providing more counterarguments to the Parliament.
What is more, the Baltic Peat Forum held on 2-4 September in Druskininkai under the subject “Alternative Usage of Peat” was the most important event in the Association’s activity in 2010.
The Forum received a great interest from participants, i.e. about 190 people from Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, the Netherlands, Belarus, Israel, the Czech Republic, Finland and other countries took part in it. According to participants, this Forum was the most numerous in terms of the number of guests.

11 presentations were delivered during the Forum (all presentations can be found in association website www.asocdurpes.lt). Participants also had an opportunity to see a fen under restoration.
We provoke interest in many foreign companies to support the Forum organization, some of them subsequently expressed a wish to become members of Lithuanian Peat Producers Association, such as Dutch company Slootweg Macchinefabriek, etc.

You can find more information about the Association, its members and events in our updated website www.asocdurpes.lt.

Annual Report 2008

The Lithuanian Peat Producers’ Association Lithuanian Peat held held a number of important meetings in 2008. In March, the general meeting of the members of the Association was held. The President Mr. Albinas Cernauskas presented the Annual Report of activities of the Association. The attendants also approved the budget, re-elected the members of the council, discussed the topicality and elected the auditor.

The second meeting of the Association was organized in June 2008. Dr. Remigijus Simasius, Director of the Free Market Institute, introduced activities, goals and cooperation possibilities with the Lithuanian Peat Association. The Institute offered scientific research and the introduction of Lithuanian Peat to different governmental institutions. This step is very important in solving the problem of subsidising diesel fuel for the Association members. Business development consultant Mr. Mykolas Trunce, introduced a labour training project funded by the EU.

Members also discussed EPAGMA (European Peat and Growing Media Association) activities in Brussels and its cooperation with Lithuanian peat producers. Moreover, a new company, JSC Rekyva joined the Association.

Finally, every Tuesday the President and the Director of Lithuanian Peat participated, generally with other industries’ associations, in lobby meetings, where governmental, parliamentarians and other competent state officers are invited to discuss particular laws and appeals to the government on various topics important for the industry.

The most important plan for the Lithuanian Peat Producers’ Association 2009 is to discuss with the government how to improve the business environment for fuel peat. Fuel peat, large amounts of which are imported from Belarus to Lithuania, is currently not regarded as a renewable fuel.

Malaysia

Contact Persons

Dr. Lulie Melling

Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute
Chief Minister’s Department
Lot 6035, Kuching-Kota Samarahan Expressway
94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak
MALAYSIA

Phone: +60 19 858 2085

Frederick Haili Teck

No. 386A, Lorong 7
Jalan Semaba
93250 Kuching, Sarawak
MALAYSIA

phone: 016-8896156

Sharon Yu Ling Lau

Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute
Lot 6035, Kuching – Samarahan Expressway
94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak
MALAYSIA

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2017

The Malaysian Peat Society (MPS) plays a crucial role in promoting the wise and sustainable use of peat and peatlands in the country. A number of significant activities of MPS were successfully undertaken in 2017.

The 19th Management Committee Meeting was held on 7 January 2017 to discuss the activities and programmes of the MPS for that year. The meeting decided to produce a handbook on tropical peatlands as a source of information for the general public; this is currently in the process of being reviewed and refined. Additionally, technical training and some financial assistance have been provided to students interested in enhancing their technical knowledge and skills in tropical peat research.

A new MPS Management Committee was elected for the term 2017-2019 during the Seventh Annual General Meeting on 13 May 2017. The newly elected office holders are:

President: Dr. Lulie Melling
Vice President: Siaw Ting Chuan
Secretary-General: Frederick Haili Teck
Vice Secretary-General: Priscilla Esther Mikin
Treasurer-General: Dr. Sharon Lau
Vice Treasurer-General: Jee Hon Chong

Committee Members

  1. Mohd. Zulhilmy
    2.    Frazer Midot
    3.    Auldry Chaddy
    4.    Bobbie Yamoh
    5.    Annie Ting

In order to learn about the latest national and international updates on peat and peatland research, some MPS members participated in the Annual Convention of the IPS in Aberdeen, Scotland, from 28 to 31 May 2017. MPS members also actively participated in the Incorporated Society of Planters event entitled ‘100 Years of Oil Palm: Surging Forward’ during the 13th NATSEM, held in Selangor, Malaysia, between 17 and 19 July 2017, which aimed to provide planters with information on the management practices of oil palm cultivation.

In addition, MPS members gave both oral and poster presentations on carbon and water fluxes from different tropical peat ecosystems at the AsiaFlux Joint Conference Workshop 2017 and the 15th Anniversary Celebration of ChinaFLUX, which was held in Beijing, China, on 16-19 August 2017.

Another memorable event was the Christmas/New Year Dinner Gathering organized by the Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute, in collaboration with the MPS, on 6 January 2018, which aimed to build rapport among members and attendees so that they felt ‘in sync’ with one another.

Annual Report 2012

In the year 2012, the Malaysian Peat Society (MPS) had put forth an effort and successfully undertaken activities as described below.

New Chair of MPS

Peter Sawal, Controller of the Natural Resources and Environment Board Sarawak has been the new Chair of the MPS since January 2012, while former President of the Society, YB Dato’ Dr. James Dawos Mamit is now advisor to the Society.

Society’s Meetings

The Society held its three committee meetings in 2012 to discuss on the matters pertaining to amendments to the rules and constitution, the position of the President, IPS EB election, attendance at IPS EB Meetings, the annual membership fee to IPS, the Society logo, participation at IPC 2012 and future events.

The 2nd Annual General Meeting of the MPS was convened in Kuching, Sarawak on 30 June 2012 to review and discuss the reports of the Secretary and Treasurer, the proposed budget, proposed plan of activities for 2012 and to appoint auditors for the financial year 2012.

International Peat Congress

A significant activity of the Society in 2012 was active participation at the IPC 2012 in Stockholm in June, where our members delivered several oral and poster presentations at the session on tropical peatlands. In addition, we held an exhibition booth and gave a cultural performance for promoting the next IPC which is scheduled to take place in Sarawak, Malaysia on 15 – 19 August 2016.

In the meantime, the Committee submitted a nomination for its candidate for the positions of IPS EB. The candidate was, however, not elected during the Annual Assembly of IPS at the IPC in Stockholm on 8 June 2012. However, in connection with the 15th IPC to be hosted by MPS in 2016, it was agreed that Lulie Melling would be co-opted onto the IPS EB with no voting rights. Preparations continue for the 15th IPC in Malaysia “Peatlands in Harmony – Agriculture, Industry & Nature” in partnership with IPS.

Symposium & Workshops

MPS members have also taken part in other events of related organizations:

1) JST-JICA International Symposium on Wild Fire and Carbon Management in Peat-Forest in Indonesia, Bogor, Indonesia, 13 – 14 September

2) International Workshop on an “Assessment of Wetland Change in West Kalimantan Province: Does It Enhance Sustainability?” Pontianak, Indonesia, 17 – 20 September

3) Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil, Singapore, 30 October – 1 November 2012

Peat Soil Correlation

A peat soil correlation held in Mukah, Sarawak on 11 – 16 June 2012 was also attended by MPS members. The principal organizer was COMSSSEM together with the Department of Agriculture Sarawak. The objective of this correlation was to improve the Malaysian Unified Peat Soil Classification. The second peat soil correlation organized by Tropical Peat Research Laboratory Unit was held latterly on 22 – 24 October 2012. Peat profiles for five peat pedons located in three different ecosystems in Sarawak were described in terms of texture, structure and color.

Annual Report 2011

In the year 2011, the Malaysian Peat Society had put forth an effort and successfully recruited new members mainly from academia, industry and government sectors. As of 31 December 2011, the Society membership comprised a total of 44 active members, of which 32 are individual ordinary members, seven individual life members, four corporate ordinary members and one corporate life member.

A committee meeting was held on 25 March 2011 to resolve matters pertaining to membership, amendment to rules and constitution, bank account and Annual General Meeting. The 1st Annual General Meeting of Malaysian Peat Society was convened on 25 June 2011 to review and discuss the reports of Secretary and Treasurer, appoint auditors for the financial year and officers to deal with immovable property of the Society, and approve the proposed amendments of Rules and Constitution. A new Management Committee was also elected at the AGM for the term 2011-2013. The office-bearers are:

President    :    Datu Len Talif Salleh
Vice-President        :    Philip Ho Kian Sin
Secretary-General    :    Frederick Haili Teck
Assistant Secretary-General    :    Annie Ting
Treasurer-General    :    Dr. Lulie Melling
Assistant Treasurer-General    :    Angela Tang Che Ing
Ordinary Committee Members    :    Sharon Lau Yu Ling, Sulim Lumong, Jin Kee Mou,
Lim Choo Tad

Additionally, a number of future activities and plans were discussed during the meeting:

•    Society logo and student sponsorship
•    To participate in the Annual Conference of Malaysian Society of Soil Science
•    To participate in the Annual Seminar of Incorporated Society of Planters (ISP) to provide scientific updates in relation to characterization and management of tropical peatland
•    Embarking on a 3-year hydrological study of tropical peatland with University of Technology Malaysia
•    Participation in the 14th International Peat Congress 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden
•    Participate with the plantation industries on sustainable management of tropical peatland

Prior to the AGM, Dr. Lulie Melling had represented the national committee at the Annual Assembly of IPS held in Quebec, Canada on 14 June 2011. She also presented a paper, “Soil CO2 fluxes from different ages of oil palm in tropical peatland of Sarawak, Malaysia” at the International Symposium on Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production on 13-17 June 2011.

In late September, an awareness campaign on tropical peatland was successfully conducted in conjunction with Sarawak Chief Minister’s Department’s Innovation and Integrity Day held at the old State Legislative Assembly complex, Kuching, Sarawak, with several hundreds of secondary students visited the scientific exhibition and demonstration booth of Tropical Peat Research Laboratory Unit. The one-day campaign was indeed fruitful and enlightening that has inspired the students’ interests and enthusiasm in science as well as disseminating scientific information to the public.

Also, several members of MPS have submitted their abstracts for the 14th International Peat Congress. By then, there will be a delegation of members participating at the Congress to deliver their presentations. The work of organizing the 15th International Peat Congress “Peatland Resources: Agriculture, Industry, Society and Environment – Harmonisation, Integration and Mitigation (PRAISE-HIM)” in Kuching, Malaysia has been started off in cooperation with Sarawak Convention Bureau. We are currently initiating our efforts to establish sponsorship and boosting activities at the forthcoming congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

Annual Report 2010

The Malaysian Peat Society (MPS) was officially registered with the Registrar of Society Malaysia under the governance of Rules and Constitution of Persatuan Gambut Malaysia (Malaysian Peat Society). The Management Committee of the MPS in the period of 2009-2011 consists of the President: Dr. James Dawos Mamit, Vice-President: Mr. Ho Kian Sin, Secretary-General: Mr. Frederick Haili Teck, Treasurer-General: Dr. Lulie Melling and Assistant Treasurer-General: Mr. Sulim Lumong.

The society held its two committee meetings on 4th September 2010 and 17th December 2010 to discuss on the various issues pertaining to the formation of the society.  The meetings discussed on the formation of the society’s bank account, appointment of panel lawyers, internal and external auditors and membership recruitment exercise plan. During the meeting, it was agreed upon that those who attended the pro-tem committee meeting be accepted as the immediate members of MPS and a membership drive will proceed immediately. The next Annual General Meeting of MPS was tentatively fixed on 26th March 2011.

One of the highlighted events of the year was MPS won the bidding to host the International Peat Congress 2016 in Malaysia. The bidding event was held in Jyvaskyla, Finland on the 16th of June 2010 and the winning bid was a credit to the collaborative efforts of MPS and Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB). The President of MPS shall automatically become the chair of IPS if MPS resume the chair country to head IPS. Therefore, Dr. Lulie Melling is to be elected as President of MPS during the same tenure because she is a candidate to President to 2016 IPS.

In November, a 2-day workshop on Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for oil palm cultivation on peat was co-organized with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in Sibu, Sarawak. The workshop was organized to address the issues relating to oil palm development on peat because focus has been placed on the sustainability of plantation crops developed on peatlands. New emerging issues have been raised in relation to peatland management including the need to prevent peatland fires and also the issues of carbon storage and climate change. A sustainable and wise use of these peatlands is essential in order to ensure that sufficient areas still remain to carry out their vital natural resources functions while satisfying the essential requirements of present and future generations.

The Netherlands

Contact Persons

Drs. A.H.P. van Berckel

Nederlands Veengenootschap
Intervema BV
Burg. J.G. Legroweg 80
9761 TD Eelde
THE NETHERLANDS

phone: +31 50 309 5950

Dr. Michiel Gerding

Nederlands Veengenootschap
Parkstraat 4
9401 LJ Assen
THE NETHERLANDS

phone: +31 592 300450
web: www.veengenootschap.nl

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2018

2018 was a very special year for our Dutch Peat Society: our regular activities and, of course, the 50th IPS Symposium and the Summit.

This was the year that the capital of Friesland Province, Leeuwarden, was also the Cultural Capital of Europe. One of the activities was an exhibition of the famous Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1998-1972, see Wikipedia), who was born in Leeuwarden. Many of his works deal with items of interest to IPS members: air, water and (peat) meadows, often visualized in mathematically fascinating ways. Combining our Annual Meeting with an exhibition and presentations about, among others, how to manage the water level in Friesian polders, given the imperfect predictability of periods of excess rain and dryness, allowed for a very interesting balance between culture and professions.

Most of the time spent this year by the National Commission and others (!) concerned activities around the 50th anniversary of the IPS: the Summit and the Symposium in September.

The one-day Summit and the joint three-day Symposium took place aboard the former ocean liner SS Rotterdam, in – yes – Rotterdam Harbor: a unique and beautiful venue. The meetings, presentations and tours (mostly below sea level) often surpassed our immodest expectations. The number of participants at the Summit was higher than expected, while that of the Symposium was somewhat lower. More information about the Summit and the Symposium can be found in the IPS Annual Report. The National Commission would like to thank its members for all the work they have done, especially Jan Schram and Sjef Enthoven for all the organizing they undertook.

This year was the last year that the Secretary and Treasurer Anne Jelle Schilstra performed these functions; he will however remain on the Dutch National Commission.

Annual Report 2017

This year, two activities have been organized for our members:

–    Visiting the national peat grassland research centre
–    Speed dating with peat (peat dating)

In addition, the National Commission has been preparing for the IPS’ 50th anniversary in 2018.

In spring, members of the Nederlands Veengenootschap visited the Dutch Peat Meadow Innovation Centre, “Veenweiden InnovationCentrum”, organized in cooperation with the Dutch Soil Science Society, “Nederlandse Bodemkundige Vereniging”. Presentations and a field trip dealt with soil subsidence, water level and water quality control, the loss of agricultural peat grasslands due to the growth of cities and increases in natural grasslands. In total, about 50 people attended this spring event.

Our autumn meeting was a very special event. Our members typically come from very different professional backgrounds, which makes networking particularly interesting. But, at our meetings, one is inclined to enjoy pleasant conversations with familiar colleagues. To overcome this traditional behaviour, we organized a “speed dating with peat” event. About 20 members joined the meeting, in which they were randomly coupled in pairs. After introducing themselves, they started to exchange knowledge and experience. The secretary had a strong impression that this approach allowed members to make new contacts in a relaxed manner!

The only problem concerned the lack of discipline among our members. When the secretary decided it was time to switch partners, he was often ignored. This meant that a number of potentially very interesting meetings and discussions unfortunately did not materialize! On the other hand, on the basis that certain discussions were more important than the secretary’s authority, this meeting could be labelled as a success. To be continued…

In September 2018, the 50th jubilee of the IPS will be celebrated in Rotterdam. While preparation, planning and contacting speakers take a lot of time, the National Commission is pleased to be involved in this event. In the process, we expect to meet a lot of people from different professional backgrounds.

Annual Report 2015

In 2015, three meetings for our members were programmed. In collaboration with the Royal Geological and Mining Society, a study tour to the peat harvesting company Griendtsveen AG in the Esterweger Dose area was organized. This area is the largest intact mires of Western Europe, see de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esterweger_Dose. Presentations, a narrow-gauge tour and a visit to an open clay mine were new and interesting to many of our guests.

Our annual meeting was combined with a visit to the Soil Museum in Wageningen (www.isric.org/services/ world-soil-museum), which was a unique experience.

This was followed in the autumn by a visit to the certification institute RHP near Rotterdam, the European knowledge centre for potting soil and substrates. See www.rhp.nl/en/professional/. Students attending a school for young agricultural professionals were also invited. About 15 of them attended. Reflecting on last year, the 2015 programme can be described as successful.

Our honorary member, as well as IPS honorary member, Henk van de Griendt, died this year. He was a distinctive and much-admired person who will be remembered by many in our national and international society.

The members of our Dutch society also contributed to the IPS response to the EU Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives, which was put together by the IPS’ Second Vice President, Jack Rieley.

We are also very pleased to mention that two of our members, Intervema and Bol Peat, as well as Klasmann- Deilmann, supported the “Purvitis Project”. Here, students of the Art Academy of Latvia, prior to the IPS’ Peat Technology Conference in Riga (2014), created beautiful art objects from peat. See the article in Peatlands International 2014 (4), page 42. The three sponsors each received two of the art pieces of this year, symbolizing the happy end of the “Purvitis Project”.

Annual Report 2014

In the first part of 2014, most of the attention of the Dutch Board of the Nederlands Veengenootschap was spent on the important meeting of the Executive Board in Groningen, the Netherlands. The Dutch Board had proposed to organize the IPS Congress in 2020 in Groningen. Just like the EB had visited Tallinn, the competing city in Estonia, we wanted to receive the EB in Groningen and give a good impression of what we had to offer: venue, hotels and town. While we had positive reactions, Tallinn won the competition.

Together with the Nederlandse Bodemkundige Vereniging (Dutch Soil Science Society), we organized on 20 June a well-attended meeting in Geeste, Germany. Here, near the Klasmann–Deilmann premises, the Emsland Moormuseum
(www.moormuseum.de) offered the facilities for the meeting, as well our annual Veengenootschap meeting. On the programme was a most interesting guided tour of the museum and in the afternoon a visit to the Klasmann-Deilmann peatlands, where projects on re-paludification and reuse of depleted peatland as agricultural lands were exhibited.

In November a trip to Flora Holland (www.floraholland.com/en), the centre of the flower-growing business in the Netherlands, was planned. In this important economic sector, most of the imported peat is used. Unfortunately very few members were able to come so we had to cancel this trip.

The number of members of our Veengenootschap remained almost constant. A number of students were added to the list, while a few older members wanted to give up their membership. At the annual meeting, A.J. Schilstra was re-elected as a member of the Dutch Board. He will continue his function as Secretary and Treasurer.

Annual Report 2013

This year was marked by a number of important events and issues. Our spring activity is usually combined with the formal annual meeting and traditionally, also with the quadrennial IPS conference, as in Stockholm in 2012.

This year the Symposium Grosci 2013 in Leiden, organised in July by the ESHA and the IPS, was the event selected. The Nederlands Veengenootschap contributed to this Symposium, amongst others, organizing a dinner and a city walk through the ancient town of Leiden (first mentioned in AD 860; its university dates from AD 1575) for both attendees of the symposium and our members. Reactions afterwards were very positive. The Nederlands Veengenootschap has proposed to host the IPS Symposium in 2020 in the Netherlands, in the ancient town of Groningen. The Dutch Board is of course of the opinion that Groningen and the Netherlands are ideally suited to host this symposium. Our bid book (on the theme of “Peat and Peatlands: Its Ancient Past and Future Perspectives”) was presented to the Executive Board in August; one year later, in Riga at the International Peat Technology Symposium, the National Commissions will vote on which of the two competing cities (Tallinn is the other bidder) will be honoured with organizing the 2020 symposium.

In November, the University of Groningen, the Friesland Water Board and the Nederlands Veengenootschap organized a “studyday”, in the old water steam pumping station (1920, www.woudagemaal.nl) in Lemmer, Friesland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Large areas of the province of Friesland are peatlands, mostly used as meadows. The conflicting ideas of what the water table should be, the competing short- and long-term interests, and the issue of who benefits from the profits and who bears the costs were among those illustrated by four specialists. The subsequent discussions indicated the great social and economic significance of how to manage this beautiful landscape, in Friesland and other parts of our country. About 50 people attended the lectures, many of them professionals.

This year, more people than usual left our Genootschap, while others showed genuine interest in becoming members (or actually did so), the former fortunately being outnumbered by the latter.

Annual Report 2012

Nederlands Veengenootschap

This year our former president and long-time friend Leo Schipper passed away. He has been very active in the national and international peat world, and will be remembered with warm feelings.

Our programme for members and others began in February with a one-day “Seminar on Tropical Peatlands”. Dr. Marcel Silvius (Peatlands International, IPS) organized the meeting where seven specialists illustrated from various angles the past, present and possible future developments of these vulnerable ecosystems cq resources. The meeting was well attended, including a number of students.

In November members of the Nederlands Veengenootschap and others were invited to attend a so-called study-day in the former prison premises in Veenhuizen. From 1823 on in this small prison village poor people, beggars and tramps were forced to be “re-socialized” and work in the (peat) area. In the following century many thousands have toiled in the village that is now on the Unesco World Heritage List. Dr. Michiel Gerding (Commission VIII) told about the local history and its link with the peat economy, and author Suzanna Jansen about her ancestors who lived and toiled there and how they dealt with shame and humiliation (she wrote a book about her family history that sold 200.000 copies).

The major IPS happening this year was the quadrennial IPS conference in Stockholm. A success also from the Dutch point of view: many Dutch members and firms were present.

The president of the Nederlands Veengenootschap, Guus van Berckel who stepped down regulatory, was at the annual meeting of members reappointed as president. The DGMT and the Veengenootschap nominated him as candidate for the Executive Board, he was elected First Vice President of the IPS.

Last but not least, the Veengenootschap organized a “peat course”. As the old-fashioned hands-on experience of peat knowledge seems to disappear in the current curricula, our board member Piet Cleveringa together with a couple of specialists presented a course to about 16 professionals from water authorities, government institutions and soil engineering companies. As a trial the course was a success, it will be repeated the coming years, with various accents.

The numbers of memebers of the Nederlands Veengenootschap remained about the same in 2012, as has been the case for the last years.

Annual Report 2011

That peat causes and solves problems is well known. This year a new type of problem solving was illustrated in the 3 days Conference “Natural Cap – Green Rehabilitation Opportunities for Hazardous Waste Sites”, in April. The Volgermeerpolder, a 100 ha peatland just 3.5 km north-east of Amsterdam’s built area, was used in the 1960’s to illegally dump industrial chemical wastes. This major pollution was “discovered” in 1980 causing a huge political scandal. Subsequently it was discovered that peat, old and new, could help to contain the pollution, though at a cost of about hundred million euro’s. In the first Peatlands International of 2012 a comprehensive article explains the details, giving another example of peat’s versatility.

Knowledge and peat from the Veengenootschap side contributed to the success, reason why members were invited to the Conference. It was then convenient to let the annual meeting of the Nederlands Veengenootschap to coincide with one day of the Conference, allowing our members a “hands-on” experience of the landscape that replaced the chemical dump. On Google Earth a view of the then not yet finished project can be found on 52º25′ North, 5º00′ East.

Progress has been made to develop the peat course to retain the knowledge about peat in the field, knowledge that cannot be found books but has to be learned in stead from experts. This project was introduced in the Annual Report of last year. The course is expected to start next year.

The Board of the Veengenootschap was invited by the Estonian Peat Association who commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Estonian Peat Industry with a conference in Tallinn. A contribution was made to the program with a presentation about the history of peat use in Western Europe and its consequences, focusing on the differences with Northern and Central European peat, i.e. the circumstance that many Dutch peatlands are/were just above and under sea level.

Six members of the Veengenootschap participated in the ad hoc working group “Enhancing the Sustainability of the Peat Supply Chain for the Dutch Horticulture”, this year the final report “Sustainable Peat Supply Chain” was published (Wageningen University, Alterra report 2167). Members also contribute also to the current project “Principles and Criteria for Responsibly Produced Peat”, with the aim to develop a certifying system for the European peat industry.

The list of members had a few changes, both positive and negative; the net membership did not change very much.

Annual Report 2010

Leo Schipper, who last year stepped down as president of the Dutch National Committee was awarded with an honorary membership of our Veengenootschap on the 2010 annual general meeting. His stimulating interest in all aspects of peat, its use and its people were herewith symbolically recognized, as his successor, Guus van Berckel, eloquently formulated.

We are proud Gerald Schmilewski, nominated by the Veengenootschap with support from the DGMT and the RHP Foundation was awarded the “IPS Award of Excellence 2010”, formerly the “Wim Tonnis Peat Award”. Among many other things Gerald was the stimulating force behind the successful series of “Peat in Horticulture” symposia, in the first years together with Wim Tonnis. This year the sixth symposium with the title “Life in Growing Media” was held as usual the day before the opening of the Amsterdam Horti Fair. About 120 people attended this very interesting symposium.

Incidents have made clear that old-fashioned hands-on knowledge about peat and peat dikes is disappearing. The Netherlands National Committee is preparing a course to preserve this knowledge for professionals in for example landscape maintenance and water regulating bodies. The Dutch Board has joined a similar DGMT-course to find out the German way of disseminating this knowledge. Related to this is the initiative for the Board to brainstorm with organisations like Wetlands International and experts from the Agricultural University Wageningen in areas of potential mutual interest. Interest is growing, as also can be seen in the attendance of our annual meeting where dr. Geert van Wirdum and drs. Piet Cleveringa presented most interesting lectures on the subject peat, dikes and safety. The subject will remain vital to the Netherlands in the centuries to come.

The Dutch government has organized Stakeholder Meetings on Sustainable Trade in Peat and Peat Products, with the aim of gaining thorough insight into practices in the peat chain and the potential to increase its sustainability. From a global context point of view the project is also looking at the relevance of peat use by the horticulture sector for the total availability and use of peat in the world and the influence of the use and degradation of peat lands on the climate and vice versa. Experts from the peat industry, universities and government attended. The final report will be ready in the first part of next year.

Annual Report 2008

The Dutch National Committee of IPS met three times in 2008 and organised two occasions where members could meet.  Firstly, Alterra of Wageningen University hosted the annual meeting where the Board of the Netherlands Veengenootschap reported on their activities and plans to its members.

Both the report of activities and the financial reports were recorded. After the meeting, those present were fascinated by four presentations on the relation between hydrology and ecology in tropical peatlands, the history of landscape development of the province of Drenthe in the last 1,000 years, the effects of climate change on bogs, and finally on an experiment about the influence of birches on the development of peatlands.

In the autumn, a so-called study-day was held in Griendtsveen, a village named after an ancestor of our honorary member Henk van de Griendt. The program included presentations on the economics of peat production in the past and the interwoven history of Griendtsveen and its local peat production.

Members of the Board of the Nederlands Veengenootschap participated in negotiations with three other organisations in the Dutch peat business, aiming at combined meetings that would reinforce their interest and increase the number of attendants at these events. The Board repeated its proposal for its candidate for the “Wim Tonnis Peat Award”. The candidate was, however, not selected.

Many Dutch members participated in the Tullamore Congress, also with oral and poster presentations. The Tullamore Commission VIII meeting with interested Congress participants selected a successor for Dr. Anne Jelle Schilstra. Out of three candidates that were proposed by their respective national committees. Dr. Michiel Gerding, historian of the Dutch province of Drenthe, was chosen.

A small number of members ended their membership at the end of 2008, although with new members joining, membership was seen to have increased at the turn of the year to 78.

Poland

Contact Persons

Prof. Dr. Lech Wojciech Szajdak

Polish Academy of Sciences
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment
ul. Bukowska 19
PL-60-809 Poznan
POLAND

phone: +48 61 847 5601

Dr. Katarzyna Styla

Polish Academy of Sciences
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment
ul. Bukowska 19
PL-60-809 Poznan
POLAND

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2014

Polish studies of peat and peatlands have a long-term tradition and substantial achievements. The researchers working in this field are members of the Polish National Committee of IPS, whose commissions have recently received considerable attention in terms of their goals and functions. Polish National Committee of IPS has 98 members.

The work of our Committee in 2014 focused on evidence of structural variation, richness and inventiveness of peatlands. However we are just beginning to understand their relevance to the functioning of peat ecosystems, which is related to their fate and behaviour in soil conditions. Understanding peat soil requires an interdisciplinary approach involving several sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, soil science, ecology and plant physiology, as in the development of the history of peat science, the histories of individual scientific peat disciplines (botany, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, balneology, energetic and agricultural utilization) have played an enormously significant role.

Activity

Two members of Polish National Committee defended doctoral thesis in 2014:

“Impact of organic soils of peatland as biogeochemical barrier on the limitation of non-point pollution in ground water”,
“Carbon and nitrogen in organic matter fractions of Histosols located in upper valley of Liwiec river”.

The members of the Polish National Committee are involved in several Polish and international projects:

  1. a) “Impact of the melioration on organic matter properties and the content of biologically active substances in peats”.
    b) “Function of humus substances and the transformation of nitrogen in peat caused by the drainage and undrainage of peatlands”.
    c) “Molecular composition of organic carbon in soil water systems”.
    d) “Impact of peat type and species of upland mires on the changes enzymatic, chemical and physical properties”.
    e) “Function of peatland on the limitation of non-point pollution in ground water”.
    f) “Relationship between chemical, biochemical and physical properties of organic and mineral growing media and the occurrence and significance of indole-3-acetic acid as fotohormone”.

The results were presented during international conferences and congresses:

Peat – Water Ecosystems (Kiev, Ukraine), West Siberian peatlands and carbon cycle: past and present (Novosibirsk, Russia), Biogenic – abiogenic interactions in natural and anthropogenic systems (Sankt Petersburg, Russia), Paleopedological record of postglacial soil and landscape evolution (Toruń, Poland), European Geosciences Union, General Assembly (Vienna, Austria).

Conclusion

Prof. Lech Wojciech Szajdak, the chairman of the Polish National Committee of IPS would like to express gratitude towards the members who participated in the meetings and the people who have worked voluntary for the Polish National Committee of IPS.

 

Annual Report 2012

The Polish National Committee of IPS published two books in 2012. The first one, entitled “Necessity of Peatlands Protection”, has 381 pages and consists of 31 chapters written by more than 60 authors from six countries (Belarus, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine). The book was edited by Lech W. Szajdak, Woletta Gaca, Teresa Meysner, Katarzyna Styla and Marek Szczepański. The results of the papers published in the book were presented during international peat conferences under the same title as the book, organized by the Polish National Committee of IPS and Commission III of IPS in Bory Tucholskie, Poland in 2011. The report of the conferences has been published in Peatlands International 2/2012. The book exhibits the highest level of editorial work – hard cover, good quality paper, figures and pictures in color. In addition, all tables and figures are very clear. The publication is available at www.isrl.poznan.pl/en/departments/environmentalchemistry/2-uncategorised….

The papers in the book may be divided according to the following thematic subjects:

  • characteristics of wetlands and peatlands in selected areas (8 papers),
  • peatlands vegetation (5 papers),
  • peatlands soil and their properties (8 papers),
  • chemical properties of peat (8 papers),
  • therapeutic properties of peat (2 papers).

The book will be useful to researchers in the field. Moreover, it will be helpful for undergraduate and postgraduate students, soil scientists, biochemists, chemists, plant ecophysiologists, “natural products” organic chemists and other environmental scientists and experts. The book was dedicated to Professor Tomasz Brandyk, a member of the International Peat Society who was highly involved in IPS activities, both on Polish and international level.

However, we currently have abundant evidence of structural variation, richness and inventiveness of peatlands; we are just beginning to understand their relevance to the functioning of peat ecosystems, which is related to their fate and behaviour in soil conditions. Understanding peat soil requires an interdisciplinary approach involving several sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, soil science, ecology and plant physiology, as in the development of the history of peat science, the histories of individual scientific peat disciplines (botany, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, balneology, energetic and agricultural utilization) have played an enormously significant role.

Polish studies of peat and peatlands have a long-term tradition and substantial achievements. The researchers working in this field are members of the Polish National Committee of IPS, whose commissions have recently received considerable attention in terms of their goals and functions. Therefore, it has become crucial to publish a book entitled “Polish National Committee of IPS – the history, activity, achievements”, which was edited by Andrzej Łachacz.

Within its 180 pages, the book shows the history and activity of all Commissions included in the Polish National Committee of IPS. In addition, it includes information on Commission III of IPS on “Agricultural use of peatlands and peat”, which has been chaired by Polish scientists from 1995 (Piotr Ilnicki 1995-2000, Tomasz Brandyk 2000-2004, Lech W. Szajdak 2004-2012, Barbara Kalisz 2012-now).

 

Annual Report 2011

Members of the Polish National Committee of IPS met twice in 2011. Our annual assembly was held on 10 February in Warsaw. All chairpersons of commissions showed the reports on activities during 2011. The discussion after presentations was connected with the plan for 2011.

The second meeting was held on 1 September in Tlen, Bory Tucholskie, Poland during the International Conference on “Necessity of Peatlands Protection”. The Polish National Committee together with Commission III of IPS, the Committee on Land Reclamation and Agricultural Environment Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences and Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland organized this event.

The main topics of the conference were: (1) peatlands and forest areas, (2) protection of peatlands in agricultural and forestry landscape, (3) multifunction of peatlands.

During three sessions, distinguished leading scientists, young researchers and students presented 44 papers including 13 oral lectures, and 31 posters. The conference was addressed to young scientists who have been involved in this problem recently. 50 Polish, Estonian, Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Rumanian scientists attended the conference.

During the meeting, a new chairperson – Prof. Dr. Lech Wojciech Szajdak, two vice-chairpersons – Prof. Dr. Andrzej Łachacz, Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Lipka and the secretary – Dr. Katarzyna Styła of Polish National Committee were elected.

As the Polish National Committee assembles mainly scientists from 24 universities and research institutes, the activities are focused on different aspects of research. The members reveal the activity in many fields related to peat properties and peatlands utilization and protection. During the last year many important research projects were carried out by the Polish IPS members. Therefore the results obtained were published in many international and local journals and monographs.

The Polish National Committee decided to prepare a book describing activities of the Polish National Committee and its commissions. It will be published in Polish and an English version. The book will cover the entire history of our organization, however, the main point is to show different aspects of our activities performed during the last decade. The Polish National Committee would like to publish this book before the 14th International Peat Congress in Stockholm and to promote it during the event of the International Peat Society.

 

Annual Report 2010

Members of the Polish National Committee of IPS met twice this year. An annual assembly was held on 10 February. During this meeting the chairpersons of commissions presented reports on activities during the previous year. After discussion the action plan for 2010 was accepted. The second meeting was held on 27 October. It was decided to organize a peat symposium in 2011. Another theme discussed was to prepare a book describing activities of the Polish National Committee and its commissions. The idea is to cover the whole history of our organization and the main point is to describe various activities performed during the last decade.

As the Polish National Committee assembles mainly scientists from 24 universities and research institutes, the activities are focused on research. The members are active in many fields related to peat properties and peatlands utilization and protection. During the last year many important research projects were carried out by the Polish IPS members. The results obtained were published in many international and local journals.

The members of Executive Board of the Polish National Committee participated in many meetings and scientific events where various aspects of peat and peatlands were raised. For example, Polish IPS members were active at General Assembly of European Geosciences Union in Vienna (Austria) 2-7 May, where professor Lech Szajdak was a co-organizer of one session – SSS17 – „Dehydrated and rewetted peatlands: hydrological, physical and chemical changes”. Also five persons took place in 7th Scientific School on Bogs and Biosphere in Tomsk (Russia) during 13-19 September and afterwards participated in field trip in Gornyi Altai. The Polish participants are very grateful to professor Lidia I. Inisheva and the organizing committee from Tomsk State Pedagogical University, doctor M. V. Shurova from Gorno-Altai Research Institute of Agriculture and the staff members of Gorno-Altaisk State University for this splendid and well prepared scientific event.

Also at University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn lectures open to general public were delivered. Professor W. Mioduszewski spoken on “Extreme natural events – droughts and floods”. Hydrological role of peatlands is frequently underestimated, therefore the consequences of floods may be of catastrophic dimension. Professor K. Lipka covered two themes ”Functions of wetlands” and “Peatlands in the Orawsko-Nowotarska Basin”. Raised peat bogs located in this sub-Carpathian region are at risk due to human activities.

 

Annual Report 2009

Members of the Polish National Committee of IPS met twice this year. An Annual Assembly was held on 11 February 2009. During this meeting, the Commission chairpersons presented reports on activities during the previous year. After short discussion, the action plan for 2009 was accepted.

The second meeting was held on 7 December. One of the reasons for this extraordinary meeting was to discuss the present situation of our Committee after the unexpected death of Prof. Tomasz Brandyk, the Vice Chairman of the Polish National Committee. After heated discussion, some changes were approved. Professor Lech Szajdak was elected Vice Chairman of the Polish National Committee, Professor Adam Bogacz as Chairman of Commission III – utilization of peat and peatlands in agriculture and Doctor Barbara Kalisz as a member of the Executive Board responsible for organisational affairs. Additionally, it was decided that during the next Annual Assembly, to be held in February 2010, Vice Chairmen of each Cmmissions will be elected. We hope that all the changes introduced would activate our work. A workshop on properties of peat and taxonomy of organic soils is also planned for 2010.

As the Polish National Committee assembles mainly scientists from 24 universities and research institutes, the activities are focused on research. The members are active in many fields related to peat properties and the utilisation and protection of peatlands. During the last year, many important research projects were carried out by the Polish IPS members. The members of the Executive Board of the Polish National Committee participated in many meetings and scientific events where various aspects of peat and peatlands were raised.

In 2009, differing lectures open to the general public were delivered at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. The following lectures were focused on peat and peatlands: Prof. Lech Szajdak: Western Siberia – Tomsk, nature, culture, people; The importance of midfield afforested places in reduction of pollutants in the agricultural landscape; Prof. Kazimierz Tobolski: Cultural aspects of peats and peatlands; Protection of peatlands in Europe in the light of the Natura 2000 programme; Prof. Waldemar Mioduszewski: Water for agriculture and nature protection; and Dr. Ryszard Oleszczuk: Emission of greenhouse gases from cultivated peat soils used for agriculture. This activity will continue in 2010.

 

Annual Report 2008

The Polish National Committee of IPS held its annual meeting on 11 February 2008. During this meeting the Chairpersons of the Commissions presented their reports on activities during the previous year. After discussion, the action plan for 2008 was accepted. Furthermore the membership issues were analysed, e.g. how to attract young scientists to join the Polish National Committee of IPS. During this meeting some problems related to peatland utilization for agriculture and peatland protection within the pan-European ecological network Natura 2000 were also discussed.

The members of the Executive Board of the Polish NC participated in many meetings and scientific events where various aspects of peat and peatlands were raised. The Polish scientists are represented in IPS by 25 universities and research institutes. The members are active in many fields related to peat properties and peatlands utilization and protection. The majority of them are focused on activities within two Commissions, namely on the utilization of peat and peatlands in agriculture, and the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of peat.

During the last year many important research projects have been carried out by Polish IPS members. Lately the project entitled “Geographical information system on the Polish wetlands” was completed at the Institute for Land Reclamation and Grassland Farming in Falenty. The data base comprises information on the distribution and general characteristics of wetlands, including peatlands.

In 2008, a series of lectures open to students, university teachers as well as to the general public began at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. The scope of the presentations is the environment but a great number of presentations actually concern peatlands. This activity will continue in 2009.

Sweden

Contact Persons

Torbjörn Claesson

Neova AB
Arenavägen 33
121 77 Johanneshov
SWEDEN

phone: +46703734802

Ingrid Kyllerstedt

Svensk Torv
c/o Neova AB
Arenavägen 33
121 77 Johanneshov
SWEDEN

web: www.torvforsk.se

Dr. Sabine Jordan

SLU
Uppsala, Sweden

Annual Report 2009

International Peat Congress 2012

Work on the 2012 International Peat Congress “Peatlands in Balance” in Sweden continues. The organisation is running smoothly and we are receiving excellent support from the Irish team that was in charge of the previous Congress, for which we are very grateful. Our website is up and running and several applicants have already shown interest in coming. On 4 February 2010 we will have a kickoff activity for our Swedish sponsors, with a similar programme for our foreign sponsors later on. We have decided to invite our sponsors to several seminars on topics like climate policy, general acceptance of peat production and issues related to horticultural peat. These seminars will take place in Sweden, Ireland, Brussels and Germany before the congress. The work of setting up a scientific committee is due to begin in the spring.

Other activities at TorvForsk

A number of important research projects are in progress in several fields, such as biological diversity, co-combustion and climate issues. The foundation also has a very active group that works with topics surrounding peat litter, with several projects on horses and peat litter already under way. Contacts have been made in this connection with Finland to increase the organisation’s level of international cooperation.

The Foundation also plans to carry out a number of projects aimed at production improvement and environmental stewardship of peat production. For example one project is involved in finding a method to determine reasonable benchmarks and limit values for drainage water from peat sites. What impact might an increased extraction of peat from ditched peatlands have on biological diversity? The first part of the project, which is a literature study, was completed last autumn. One of the conclusions is that there is a significant lack of knowledge about the conservation values of ditched peatlands, as the area has seldom been studied from such a point of view.

Restoration is a key to evaluating the effects of conservation management on biological diversity, but knowledge of restoration methods in relation to particular environmental goals needs to be strengthened. A website about restoration methods will therefore be launched this spring. Designed to appeal to decision-makers, students, researchers and an interested general public, it will describe how restoration is carried out and what areas/peat sites in Sweden have already been restored. The website will also contain practical advice to the peat production sector, pertinent legislation and a discussion forum. Scientific reports related to restoration will also be available at the website. The Irish website about this topic has been the project’s source of inspiration.

A further identified important area is to develop methods for evaluating peatlands from the point of view of their significance to nature and cultural tradition. During the spring, we hope to initiate projects devoted to this subject. Another research project, aimed at identifying the importance of peat in the production of whisky, has been started and will be presented at the congress. TorvForsk has closely followed the work of the IPS Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management. We have great hopes that this work will be completed during the year 2010.

Working groups

The working groups set up by TorvForsk in cooperation with the Swedish Peat Producers Association (SPPA) are running very smoothly. The objective of the groups is to find platforms for discussion and exploration of important issues and for initiation of new research. The groups will monitor research and development in each field. The user groups consist of representatives from businesses in the peat sector, energy companies, the research community, public authorities and interest groups. The groups are essential to the long-term development of the peat sector. The production group works with legislation and issues of decision-making processes, as well as monitoring R&D in the field. Together with our energy user group, and with the SPPA, the group has helped establish criteria and set up a research programme linked to the work of the peat sector in promoting sustainable peat production. In cooperation with the Swedish Energy Agency, TorvForsk hopes to get this research programme underway during the spring.

TorvForsk is also presently campaigning to recruit new members. It’s important to have a broad membership base before the Congress in 2012!

 

Annual Report 2008

International Peat Congress 2012

Organising the 2012 International Peat Congress in Sweden “Peatlands in Balance” has entered the next phase. We have established our organisation, continued work on the budget and established a road map. We are also intensifying our efforts to establish sponsorship.

At the Tullamore Congress, we introduced the coming Swedish Congress with a presentation filled with music and songs. This offered a foretaste of our expectations for the meeting in Stockholm in 2012. In general, we experienced the Congress in Tullamore as a very significant and inspiring event. We gathered plenty of ideas that we have brought into our organising efforts for the coming Congress. We will also meet the Organising Committee for the Tullamore Congress to check our planning efforts – this is seen as a very important part for our work in organising the coming Congress.

Our regular activities at TorvForsk

Many important research projects are going on in a number of fields, including biological diversity, co-combustion and particle emissions. We are producing a book on cultivation substrates, as well as conducting further studies on the health effects that peat litter has on domestic animals. A complete list of all our projects can be seen at www.torvforsk.se.

Co-operation across borders

Several of us also had the chance to take part in the Finnish National Committee’s excursion to peatlands in their home country. We saw many beautiful areas, including sites that didn’t have to do with peat, like a quarry. I also gained insight into how Suoseura, the Finnish Peatland Society, functions, and got inspiration for ideas on how we can attract more individual members to TorvForsk and how we can then take care of them best. As a result, we plan an excursion for the TorvForsk members in early fall 2009. We produced a new folder to introduce our activities at TorvForsk and we will use it in our efforts to attract new members.

The day before the excursion in Finland, representatives from Finland, Sweden and Estonia gathered to discuss co-ordinating our research activities. This was the first step in our efforts to organise a Nordic/Baltic seminar and will also include looking into the availability of EU funding for the meeting. We agreed that we face similar issues in the Nordic and Baltic areas.

Seminars

TorvForsk works closely with Svebio, which participated in the Nordic Bioenergy Conference in Jönköping in June 2008. TorvForsk hosted a side event about peat, including presentations such as

  • Practical experiences of the use of peat in a heating plant
  • New methods for peat production,
  • Peat pellets for small scale use
  • Sustainable peat production and use – environmental sustainability criteria for peat.

Working groups

The Working Committees that TorvForsk has started in collaboration with the Swedish Peat Producers Association are functioning well. These Committees are intended to help find platforms for discussions, studying important issues, and initiating new research projects.

The Committees will track research and development in their specific fields. Members are representatives from companies in the peat and energy industries, the research community, as well as public authorities and other interested stakeholders. We see these Committees as essential to continue long-term development in the peat sector. The Commissions are:

  • Energy: corrosion problems, using pellets, emissions as well as biodiesel from peat, including joint activities between Sweden and Finland.
  • Cultivation and litter: topics related to peat litter, such as its effect on animal health. This is a very active group that has met at least once a month. We have conducted several studies, compiled a folder describing the advantages and disadvantages of using peat litter and we have started a new project related to using peat litter for horses. There have already been several studies of this kind in Finland, so we plan to invite a Finnish research team to Sweden this spring. We had also planned, with IPS Holland, to bring in Dutch farmers to study the use of peat litter in Sweden. Various problems related to Swedish quarantine regulations for foreign visits to Swedish farms created obstacles to these plans. But we anticipate that this proposal will lead to other joint activities with the IPS Dutch National Committee and possibly with the Dutch Agricultural University.
  • In close co-operation with our TorvForsk user groups, the Swedish Peat Producers Association formed a Production Committee to address legislation and issues related to the legal climate and to monitor R&D in the field. Members include representatives from businesses in the peat sector, the research community and public authorities.

TorvForsk’s activities are partly financed by membership fees, but funding is limited. Much time is spent seeking joint funding for TorvForsk projects. These activities have brought success in 2008 so that several projects are currently jointly funded by industry businesses and authorities.

United Kingdom

Contact Persons

Prof. Susan Page

University of Leicester
Department of Geography
University Road
Leicester LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

phone: +44 116 2523318

Prof. Jack Rieley

The Pingle
1 Closes Side Lane
East Bridgford
Nottingham NG13 8NA
UNITED KINGDOM

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2018

2018 was an important year for peatlands and peat not only in the UK but in Europe and the rest of the world. UK IPS members participated in numerous meetings, events and projects including:

  • 9th European Ramsar Meeting in Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • LIFE End of Project Conference on Humberhead Levels Peatlands in Doncaster
  • IUCN UK Programme Peatland Strategy Launch in York
  • IUCN UK Programme Annual Conference at Balloch, Loch Lomond, Scotland
  • Mires and Peat Editorial Board meeting in Leeds
  • Joint meeting of the Irish Peat Society and UK Peatland Society in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland on cross border peatlands.
  • Tropical Peatland Restoration Conference in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, preceded by the Second Tropical Peatland Round Table that on Batam and Meranti Islands, Sumatra. Jack Rieley and Susan Page represented the IPS at these events.

But of course, the main event of the year was the IPS 50th Jubilee Congress that was held on the SS Rotterdam in Rotterdam Harbour in September preceded by a special Peat Summit meeting for our industry corporate members.

IPS UK Annual Subscriptions

Annual subscriptions were increased in 2017 to the following:
Individual members: £45; Corporate and institutional members: £150; Student members: £25

Most of the money raised from subscriptions is transferred to IPS in Finland to help maintain the Secretariat and its activities. A small amount from UK subscriptions is retained and put to good use for peatland projects in the UK. For the last four years we have contributed generously towards the Allan Robertson Grants for early career peatland scientists and managers and this year we also part-funded the first meeting of the Editors of the Scientific Journal Mires and Peat.

However, already we are suffering from consequences of Brexit, especially devaluation of the pound sterling by around 25% compared to its value against the Euro several years ago. This is having a major effect on the finances of the UK Peatland Society because we pay our annual subscription contribution to the IPS Secretariat in Finland in Euros. UK member subscriptions will be maintained at their current level for 2019 but if the exchange rate remains as it is or deteriorates further, they may need to be increased in 2020.

Restoring England’s largest lowland peatland – LIFE and Beyond

In 2014, funding was secured from the European Union’s LIFE+ programme to help the restoration of the Humberhead Peatlands. The project, called That’s LIFE – Restoring the Humberhead Peatlands was launched in July 2014 and continued until the end of June 2018. The project has extended the area of peat bog habitat under active restoration and provided a long-term future for the plants, birds and insects that have evolved to live on this unique wetland habitat and resulted in it being designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA). The project has also promoted research on and monitoring of the bog’s unique bird and insect populations that will help inform similar restoration projects elsewhere.

Jack Rieley attended the End of Project Conference that was held in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England in May 2018. This meeting was a celebration of everything that the project achieved, shared knowledge and best practice, and looked towards the future of bog restoration in Europe. The conference programme included presentations, workshops and site visits delivered by members of the LIFE+ Project team, project partners and bog restoration experts.

IUCN UK Peatland Programme launch of UK Peatland Strategy

The IUCN United Kingdom National Committee launched its new UK Peatland Strategy on 19th April 2018 at the Friargate Quaker Meeting House in York, England. This was followed by a reception in Grays Court Hotel, York. The event was attended by over 60 participants from many parts of the UK including Jack Rieley who represented the IPS.

The Workshop was introduced by Clifton Bain, Executive Director of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme and chaired by Rob Stoneman, Director of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. After an introduction to the UK Peatland Strategy the meeting divided into six focus groups to discuss the major strategy goals and identify possible actions needed to implement them.

The IUCN UK Peatland Programme has developed the UK’s first collaborative Peatland Strategy to capture and embed, for the long term, a shared vision for UK peatlands, helping maintain a focus across a broad partnership and allowing progress to be marked and celebrated. It encompasses all peatlands in the United Kingdom and is also of relevance to the UK Overseas Territories. It sets the context for strategic peatland action plans of the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Allan Robertson Grants awarded in 2018

The IPS received 17 applications for the Allan Robertson Grants 2018. The standard of all of them was very high. IPS Executive Board at its meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania in April 2018 awarded 8 grants of €500 each to the following:

–    Hui Zhang, China
–    Martha Ledger, United Kingdom
–    Jerome Blewett, United Kingdom
–    Henk Pieter Sterk, Netherlands
–    Jasmijn E. Sybenga, Netherlands
–    Kirsten Lees, United Kingdom
–    Danielle Rupp, USA
–    Elisa Männistö, Finland

New IPS Secretary General takes up his position on January 1st

The UK Peatland Society welcomes the appointment of the first full-time IPS Secretary General Dr Gilbert Ludwig who started his work on 1st January 2019. Dr Gilbert will spend his first year mostly travelling and getting to know our members, but also playing a major role in implementing the IPS Strategy 2016-2020, including cooperation with international conventions, bridging science and industry, improving communication and enhancing IPS’ project management.

New Executive Board elected

At the IPS Annual Assembly held on SS Rotterdam in September 2018 Professor Jack Rieley of UK was re-elected as a member of the Executive Board for the period 2018-2022. Six ordinary members were elected by secret ballot out of nine candidates, among which are, for the first time in IPS history, three women.

Flow Country in the North of Scotland is a Candidate World Heritage Site

The Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland in the north of Scotland occupies 4000 km2. This landscape is the best blanket bog habitat of its type anywhere in the world and has been on the UK’s list of potential World Heritage Sites since 2012. The background to this and the reasons why it should be designated are explained in a recent article by Joe Perry and Roxane Andersen in Peatlands International. Two technical evaluations were submitted to UNESCO in 2013 and 2015 and a third will be finished by the end of summer 2019. This will be sent to the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and if accepted will be forwarded to UNESCO for decision.

Members of the IPS, its Executive Board and National Committees can support this proposal for World Heritage status by sending letters to Joe Perry, Project Coordinator, Flow Country World |heritage Site Working Group, Highland Council Offices, Drummuie, Golspie, Scotland, KW10 6TA, United Kingdom. DON’T DELAY!

Joint meeting of Irish Peatland Society and UK Peatland Society in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

The Irish Peatland Society organised a joint meeting with the UK Peatland Society focussing on cross border peatlands between the Republic and Northern Ireland based in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh on 16th and 17th October.

The meeting commenced with a study visit to the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail, Slieve Rushden peatland, followed by a tour of the Marble Arches cave system. This was followed by a seminar that covered the following topics: Marble Arch Geopark, Revision of the IPS Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management, Conservation Status of Peatlands in Northern Ireland, CANN and QUBBES projects, and Peatlands and Climate Change.

The invited speakers included:

  • Martina O’Neil (Marble Arches Geopark)
  • Jack rieley (UK Peatland Society)
  • Richard Wyle (Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs)
  • Francis Mackin (QUBBES Project)
  • Trish Fox (CANN Project)

These presentations were followed by a question and discussion session.
It is hoped to organise a joint meeting of the Irish and UK Peatland Societies again soon. Suggestions are welcome.

England Peat Strategy Moves Forward

The UK Peatland Society (IPS) is a consultee to the preparation of the England Peat Strategy that is being coordinated by Judith Stuart, DEFRA Soils and Peatlands Policy Specialist.

The aim of the Strategy is that in 25 years all of England’s peatlands shall be functioning healthily for the needs of wildlife and people. It will be based on local partnerships reporting into local governance and national governance aligned with biodiversity and forestry strategies to ensure trade-offs are evaluated and managed. This approach will be tested in five pilot areas across England, working with Natural England and other stakeholders.

The Strategy will focus on lowland peat used for agriculture given that it is responsible for most of England’s greenhouse gas emissions from peatland. A Lowland Agricultural Peat Taskforce is being set up (as announced by the Secretary of State – https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/michael-gove-speech-on-uk-climate-change-projections) that will deliver recommendations for a new more sustainable future for agriculture on lowland peatlands in England

Mires and Peat Editors’ Meeting

Mires and Peat is a peer-reviewed free-access internet journal focusing specifically on mires, peatlands, and peat.  It is published jointly by the International Peatland Society (IPS) and the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG). The first meeting of the Editors of Mires and Peat was held at the University of Leeds, UK in October 2018 sponsored by the UK Peatland Society. Ten of the 12 editors attended including Olivia Bragg, Editor-in-Chief and Jack Rieley, Deputy EIC. Richard Payne, an Associate Editor also attended.

Present: Andy Baird, University of Leeds; Olivia Bragg, University of Dundee; Frank Chambers, University of Gloucestershire; Dicky Clymo, Queen Mary University of London; Stephan Glatzel, University of Vienna; Bartek Glina, University of Poznan; Ab Grootjans, University of Groningen; Richard Payne, University of York; Jack Rieley, IPS and University of Nottingham; Katy Roucoux, University of St Andrews, David Wilson, Earthy Matters Consultants. Apologies: Jonathan Price, University of Waterloo

Aims of Meeting

  • To discuss the current situation of the journal with respect to use of the Online Journal System facility (OJS) provided by the University of St Andrews: Improvements to instructions for authors to include: example papers that have been done well, be more specific about what’s required, refer to the book by Dickie Clymo on how to write a scientific paper; importance of authors formatting own references; editing guide
  • Number of editors:If we identify new potential editors, send names to Olivia for approval
  • Future direction: Development of the journal; work towards improving quality; get informal help (e.g. proof-reading?)
  • Olivia Bragg’s role / succession / sustainability: Suggestions about how to ease the work load of Olivia: recruit more editors; editors be more willing to reject papers; be more self-reliant – editorial responsibilities now clearer.
  • Future editorial meetings

Annual Report 2017

As usual 2017 was a very busy year for peatlands and peat people in the UK. The increased attention being given to peatlands globally by national and regional governments, international conventions and international NGOs highlights their importance as carbon stores and mitigators of climate change processes. UK members of the IPS have been involved in many ways, contributing to the science of peatlands and their restoration.

Our UK IPS membership numbers continue to remain stable at around 40 with the few resignations being balanced by new applications for membership, mostly owing to student membership turnover. Please continue to try to convince colleagues and students of the advantage of IPS membership and the services the Society provides.

Most of the UK Peatland Society’s efforts in 2017 were focussed on the IPS Convention in Aberdeen.

Allan Robertson Grants

Once again, the UK Peatland Society was a driving force in raising money for the Allan Robertson Grants for young peatland researcher and managers. Allan’s family supports these financially, together with the IPS Executive Board and independent donations. In 2015, their first year, we awarded 5 grants but in 2016 owing to people’s generosity we were able to provide 15 awards to young scientists and professionals who attended the Kuching Congress.

In 2017 8 grants were given to a wide range of young peatland researchers in conjunction with the Aberdeen Convention. At the Convention Gala dinner held in Haddo House, Aberdeenshire we raised a magnificent €1000 (£865) from the participants at a fund raiser that was matched by generous contributions of another €1000 from several individuals. This is a great start for the 2018 Allan Robertson Grants.

IPS Convention, Aberdeen

The IPS Convention in 2017 was held in the Marriott Hotel Dyce, Aberdeen from 28-31 May, organised by the UK Peatland Society. The event that was entitled “Responsible Management of Peatlands” embraced the most recent scientific research, technical developments and practical activities on agriculture and forestry on peatland, responsible peat production and peatland restoration.

The Convention consisted of a ‘Brainstorming’ session on key peatland issues, a ‘Symposium with four Workshops’ on the importance and effects of different land uses on peatlands in different regions of the world and a special session on ‘Restoration of Tropical Peatland’ followed by ‘Focus Groups Action Planning’.

The Convention offered an excellent opportunity for scientists, policy makers, regulators and peatland and industry managers to meet, share and discuss current and emerging knowledge and experience on all aspects of peat and peatlands. The meeting presented the most recent scientific research, technical developments and practical activities related to agriculture and forestry on peatland, and responsible peat production. It also considered best practices for peatland after use including rewetting and revegetating to reinstate peat formation and provide economic and leisure possibilities.

155 Participants from 18 countries registered for the Convention. Of these 125 booked for the full four days while the rest attended on a daily basis. At the opening event on Monday 29th May we were honoured to have seven members of the Indonesian Parliament (Senators) in attendance.

Convention Programme

Sunday 28th May

The Convention commenced after lunch on Sunday 28th May with a ‘Brainstorming’ session on current and emerging issues relevant to the three new IPS Commissions – Peatlands and Environment, Peatlands and Economy and Peatlands and Society.

The Brainstorming started in a plenary session introduced by IPS 2nd Vice President Samu Valpola who explained the rationale behind recent organisational changes and invited participants to join in one of the Commission Expert Groups. This was followed by a status report on various IPS projects.

Following the plenary participants opted to join one of the three concurrent sessions – Economy, Environment and Economy all of which were well attended.

Monday 29th May

Opening

Brief speeches of welcome were given by Professor Susan Page, Convention Chair, Professor Jack Rieley, Chair of the Convention Organising Team, Gerald Schmilewski, IPS President and Professor Bjorn Hånell, Vice Chairman of IUFRO and past President of IPS. Susan Page read a message from Professor Juhani Päivänen, Honorary President of IPS who was unable to attend.

The Convention was formally opened by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett.
The opening was followed by five keynote presentations given by experts in a wide range of peatland expertise from different countries. These keynotes were related to the themes of the four workshops that commenced in the afternoon and the session on Restoration of Tropical Peatland that took place on Wednesday 31st May.

Workshops

The Convention Symposium consisted of four concurrent Workshops each dealing with a major aspect of drained peatlands, followed by questions, answers and interactive participant involvement with special sessions on restoration of tropical peatland, peatland surveying and monitoring and Sphagnum farming.

Workshop A: Carbon management & monitoring
Facilitator: Dr Catherine O’Connell;
Rapporteur: Dr David Wilson

This was a constructive and informative session with a range of talks that covered
Carbon balances of several peatland land uses (e.g. arable, peat extraction and restoration)
Peatland management and monitoring

Workshop B: Forestry
Facilitators: Sakari Sarkkola and Bjorn Hånell;
Rapporteur: Russell Anderson

Peatland forestry is a business, carried out on organic soils, where lowering of the water table by drainage is a prerequisite. Forestry has been practiced for hundreds of years and only in Europe can we today find more than
10 M ha of peat-covered land drained for forestry purposes.

Workshop C: Responsible Peat Production
Facilitator: Jaakko Silpola; Rapporteur: Donal Clarke

This session covered a wide variety of uses of peatlands and dealt with how these uses can be achieved responsibly considering their environmental, economic and social impacts. The uses of peatlands that were considered in the presentations included, production of peat for energy, use of peat in the horticulture industry, development of integrated aquaculture and biomass production using duckweed, use of peat in the production of whisky, and peat moss cultivation (“sphagnum farming”) and sphagnum harvesting from peatlands drained for forestry.

Workshop D: Peatland Restoration and After Use
Facilitator: Roxane Andersen; Rapporteur: Mark McCorry

This session covered a wide range of topics, including restoration techniques, monitoring of water chemistry and greenhouse gases, site specific studies and the role of peatland restoration for conservation in Ireland. The discussion that followed highlighted several key points.

Social Programme

Several fantastic social events accompanied the scientific and technical programme of the Convention. This provided opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.

Tuesday 30th May

Excursions

There was a choice of four different excursions on Tuesday 30th May to places of peatland, nature conservation, landscape, stately home and malt whisky interest. Each of these provided the opportunity to view the beautiful northern Scottish landscape and learn something of its history.

Gala Dinner

This was the highlight of the Convention. It was held on the evening of Tuesday 30th May in Haddo House, a stately home, located approximately 20 miles north of Aberdeen. The evening commenced with a piper welcoming the guests to a cocktail reception in the main house by kind invitation of the Chairman of the National Trust for Scotland Sir Moir Lockhead. Lord and Lady Aberdeen greeted the guests. Dinner was held in the banqueting suite with Scottish Music and dancers to entertain during the meal and a Scottish Ceilidh of dance, music and song for all to join in afterwards.

Wednesday 31st May

The final day of the Convention started with a special session on ‘Restoration of Tropical Peatlands’. This was followed by a plenary feedback from the four concurrent workshops that took place on Monday 29th May at which the four rapporteurs gave their reports which were followed by a general discussion and recommendations for future action.

The IPS Round Table of National Committees and the 2017 Annual Assembly took place after lunch. For those not involved in these business meetings there were additional side event meetings on Peatland Survey and Monitoring, Sphagnum farming and Round Table on Tropical Peatland.

Special Session on Tropical Peatlands and their Restoration

The Convention was privileged to have as participants several members of the Indonesia Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), especially its Head Nazir Foead. This session highlighted the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia to protect remaining areas of natural peatland and restore 2 million hectares that has been degraded because of drainage, land conversion and fire.

Special meeting on peatland surveying and monitoring

This was organised by Andrew Sowter of Geomatic Ventures. The meeting discussed the results of a new satellite technique that is capable of measuring ground subsidence rates to millimetres precisions over peatland surfaces.  An overview of the method was presented, and two sets of results were discussed: one covering the complete area of mainland Scotland and another from an area of Johor, Malaysia.

Special meeting on Sphagnum farming

This was a preparation meeting for the IPS Network project “Peat Moss Cultivation and Harvesting for Horticulture and Restoration (CultivMoss). About 15 people participated in the meeting, the main objective of which was to discuss the aims and challenges. Some general decisions and future actions were decided.

Tribute to members of the Convention Organising Team

The IPS Aberdeen Convention 2017 would not have been a success without the dedication and hard work of members of the small organizing team who met on several occasions before the Convention in Dundee and Aberdeen to plan and organize the meeting. They gave their time freely and without question. I am indebted to them:

Olivia Bragg, University of Dundee
Russell Anderson, Forest Research, Forestry Commission, Roslin
Roxane Andersen, University of the Highlands and Islands, Thurso
Steve Chapman, The Hutton Institute, Aberdeen
Neil Godsman, Northern Peat and Moss Company, Peterhead

Tribute to Sponsors of the Convention

Thanks, is expressed to the many corporate, institutional and business sponsors who provided money, goods and services and made the event not only possible but very successful.

 

Annual Report 2015

Last year was a very eventful one for peatlands and peat in the UK. The UK IPS membership remains constant at a solid 40. Only one member did not renewed their subscription for 2015 while we gained several new members. We have 10 student members also a number that remains constant as new students join to replace those who leave membership when they complete their degrees and move on to other things outside of peatland.

In this last year IPS members have been very busy attending various meetings and conferences. I am sure this applies to all of us. My own activities revolved around meetings of the IPS Executive Board that met in Geeste, Germany in January, Berlin, Germany in March, Tullamore, Ireland in June and Dusseldorf, Germany in November.

A major item at all of these meetings has been preparation and refinement of the IPS Strategic Plan 2016-2020. I also represented the IPS at two meetings in Amsterdam and Bremen of the Expert Panel of the ‘Responsibly Produced Peat’ Project (RPP). Several applications were validated and as a result three peat extraction sites were awarded certificates on the basis of their good practices that enhance biodiversity and minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

My year began when I was invited to contribute to a meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia organised by the Indonesian Committee on Climate Chance and USAid on the role of tropical peatlands in greenhouse gas emissions. This focussed on the impact of land use change and fire since emissions as a result of these are a major problem in that country. In April I attended the launch in Brussels of the IUCN Peatland Restoration Booklet that contains case studies some of which were carried out by IPS members in Canada, Ireland and UK. In October I attended, together with several other IPS members, the IUCN UK Peatland Programme Annual Meeting in Inverness, Scotland that was attended by some 150 participants discussing mostly about peatland restoration.

In November the National Trust and IPS UK sponsored a workshop on ‘Molinia’ that was held at Huddersfield Town Hall. This was very successful with about 100 participants. The meeting also provided the opportunity to hold the annual IPS UK (UK Peat Society) meeting which was attended by four members with apologies from another seven.

We now have three Honorary Members of the IPS in the UK. David Bellamy has been one for several years but this year he was joined by Dickie Clymo and Neil Godsman. Best wishes to them all.

Because the UK Peat Society membership remains consistent we were able once again to use our small financial surplus (after paying our affiliation fees to IPS centrally) to promote other IPS related activities. We gave £250 towards the National Trust Molinia Conference in Huddersfield and 1000€ towards the first year of the Allan Robertson Grants.

Managing Molinia Conference in Huddersfield: 14-16 September 2015
This conference that was organised by the National Trust with additional sponsorship provided by Natural England and the UK Peat Society (International Peatland Society) was attended by over 100 participants from across the UK and Ireland. The objective was to discuss the role of Molinia in this ecological niche and, where appropriate, suggest how the balance of plant cover might be shifted back to that favoured by conservation bodies. This conference focussed on uplands expected to have a cover of Eriophorum species, ericaceous shrubs and Sphagnum mosses.

A field excursion was held to part of the National Trust’s Marsden Moor Estate, which has a very large area of Molinia-dominated moorland, included Molinia grassland experimentally cut back several years ago and another location where Moors for the Future has experimented with various cutting and tussock removal treatments in combination with the addition of Sphagnum moss species as either fragments in gel beads. A volume containing the proceedings of this conference is being prepared.

Minutes of the UK Peat Society (IPS UK National Committee) AGM held on Monday 14th September 2015 in the Huddersfield Town Hall at 5pm.
The AGM was attended by four members with apologies from another seven.

The Meeting opened with an overview of the year’s activities given by the Secretary, Jack Rieley. He drew attention to the following:

  • The IPS annual convention was held in Tullamore, Ireland from 6-11 June.
  •  It was announced that Neil Godsman, former Chair of the UK Peat Society was made an Honorary Member of the IPS for his long service to the Society.
  • A Colloquy on the Peatlands Experience was held. This consisted of Master-classes, sessions designed to impart relevant knowledge and skills from experts to participants; interactive poster sessions at which the authors of some 30+ posters each made a five-minute presentation followed by questions and discussion; and ‘Fireside chats’ which combined discussion of different perspectives on peatland issues with enjoyable social occasions. The first five successful applicants for the Allan Robertson Grants were announced two of whom are from the UK.

The members of the UK Peat Society Executive Committee remain the same with the exception of Neil Godsman who resigned as Chairman. Susan Page, Vice Chairman, is acting Chairman until a replacement is found. The current officers of the UK Peat Society and its Executive Committee are:

Chair: Vacant
Vice/Acting Chair: Susan Page
Secretary/treasurer: Jack Rieley
England: Chris Turner
Northern Ireland: James Hayes
Scotland: Steve Chapman
Wales: Fred Slater
Internal Auditor: Richard Meade

JR presented the UK Peat Society accounts for 2014 and these have been audited by Roger Meade. The next meeting of the IPS UK National Committee is to be decided at a later date.

Allan Robertson Grants
In its first year five awards of 500 Euros each were made to five young applicants out of 33 received. This was a tremendous success that can be attributed to the generosity of Allan Robertson’s family and IPS members, especially those in the UK. Of the winner one was from each of England, Scotland, Ireland, Estonia and Indonesia. Please see www.peatlands.org/about-us/ allan-robertson-grants to read more on the winners of the 2015 grants and obtain some background information. The money for the 2016 grants has already been secured but more is being sought through the Allan Robertson Grants Appeal to provide as many additional grants as possible.

IPS Annual Assembly and Convention 2017 in Scotland
The IPS Executive Board, at its meeting in Düsseldorf in November 2015 accepted the offer of the UK Peat Society to host the Annual Assembly and Convention in 2017 in Scotland with the likely location in or near to Aberdeen or Inverness. The tentative date is 28th May (Sunday) to 1st June (Thursday) and it is intended to follow the model for this event established by the Irish National Committee in the excellent event in Tullamore in June 2015. Formal IPS meetings of Executive Board, Scientific Advisory Board and Commissions/Expert Groups will be held on Sunday 28th May followed by three days of keynotes, panel discussion, poster presentation, site visits and enjoyment.

The Theme for this meeting has not yet been decided but possibilities are “Peatland Rewetting – How Mitigating is it?” or “Peatlands and Climate Change – Do they contribute or will they be affected?” Other suggestions are welcome at this stage.

The Northern Peat Moss Company and the Hutton Institute have expressed interest in supporting the meeting and other partners and sponsors will be sought. For example it is hoped that the Scottish Whisky industry will give its support and host a visit to a Malt Whisky distillery. It is also hoped that other organisations with interests in UK peatland will co-operate and attend, including IMCG, IUCN Peatland Programme, Scottish Wildlife Trust, John Muir Trust, RSPB and the Scottish Government.

A steering committee will be formed to oversee arrangements leading to the establishment of an organising committee soon after. If you wish to offer your services to help make this event a major success please contact me at jack.rieley@btinternet.com.

 

Annual Report 2014

Another year reaches its end and it has been a very busy one for peatlands and peat with numerous meetings of various kinds. My year began when I was invited to contribute to a meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia organised by the Indonesian Committee on Climate Chance and USAid on the role of tropical peatlands in greenhouse gas emissions. This focussed on the impact of land use change and fire since emissions as a result of these are a major problem in that country.

In April I attended the launch in Brussels of the IUCN Peatland Restoration Booklet that contains case studies some of which were carried out by IPS members in Canada, Ireland and UK. In October I attended, together with several other IPS members, the IUCN UK Peatland Programme Annual Meeting in Inverness, Scotland that was attended by some 150 participants discussing mostly about peatland restoration.

UK Membership of IPS has remained constant this year thanks to the continued faithful support of most members. Once again we lost only a few members, mostly students whose courses finished and they moved on but these were replaced by an almost equal number of new student members.

Whilst we have gained some individual members, corporate and institutional members have remained constant. Corporate and institutional members are entitled to name up to six of their employees to become members of IPS and receive information, Peat News, Peatlands International and obtain discounts to attend IPS conferences.

It was with great sadness that the UK Peat Society noted the passing of Allan Robertson at the beginning of the year. Allan was a founder member of the IPS in 1968, Honorary President since 1996 and Chairman of the UK Peat Society for many years. For the last few years he was resident in a care home in his native Helensburgh. His funeral in Cardross, north of Glasgow, in the middle of February was a very touching event with attendance of family, friends and former colleagues of the Macaulay Institute in Aberdeen. I represented his many colleagues and friends the IPS.

In 2014 the UK Peat Society co-sponsored two conferences, contributing £250 towards each of them. The first was the Flow Country ‘Looking Forward’ meeting that was held in Thurso, Scotland at the beginning of March with an associated field visit. The second was the ‘In the Bog’ conference in Sheffield, England at the beginning of September organised by Ian Rotherham. This was a fascinating mixture of peatland science, culture, management and artefacts.

IPS Award of Excellence to Professor RS Clymo

The 2014 Award of Excellence of the International Peat Society (Scroll and €1000) was presented to Professor Richard “Dicky” Clymo at the IPS Symposium Gala Dinner in Riga on 28 August. Professor Jack Rieley, Chair of the IPS Scientific Advisory Board and Secretary of the UK Peat Society, stated in his nomination: “Professor Clymo is one of the best known and most prestigious peatland scientists of our time. His career spans some 50 years of which he has been a member of IPS for 40 years. He has published widely on many aspects of peatlands and peat in international scientific journals and contributed to numerous books and other publications. His scientific publications have received more citations (almost 7,000) than anyone else I know. His contribution to peatland and peat ecology and science is inestimable and virtually every other peatland scientist has read his papers and cited them in their work.”

Allan Robertson Grants

In Allan’s memory, following discussion with his family and at the instigation of the UK Peat Society, IPS Executive Board at its meeting in Groningen in March 2014 decided to launch a new awards scheme in memory of Allan Robertson to be called the Allan Robertson Grants. These will focus on younger peatland and peat scientists, managers and practitioners in the early stages of their careers. The grants will consist of scrolls and monetary prizes. The first grants will be presented in 2015 and will replace the IPS Award of Excellence that has been offered for the last ten years. IPS Executive Board will initially make available the €1000 from the Award of Excellence and Allan’s immediate family will contribute a matching €1000. At its annual meeting held in Sheffield in September 2014 the UK Peat Society decided to contribute €500 towards the Allan Robertson Grants in their first year. IPS will launch an appeal to its membership and stakeholders for continuation funding of these new awards.

UK Peat Society Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the UK Peat Society (IPS UK National Committee) was held at the Sheffield Showroom and Workstation on Thursday 4th September 2014 in association with the ‘In the Bog Conference’. It was attended by six members with apologies received from 8 others. Neil Godsman stepped down as Chair of the Society and until he is replaced his duties will be carried out by the Vice Chair Professor Susan Page.

The accounts for 2013 that were audited by Roger Meade were accepted. Although the AGM had a small turnout we had a useful discussion about what the UKPS should be doing in the future. The minutes of the meeting have been distributed to members. The following officers and ordinary members of the Executive Committee remain in office until 2016.

Volunteers for the position of chair are welcomed:

Chair: Vacant
Vice Chair: Susan Page
Secretary/treasurer: Jack Rieley
England: Chris Turner
Northern Ireland: James Hayes
Scotland: Steve Chapman
Wales: Fred Slater
Internal Auditor: Richard Meade

Events in 2015

This coming year looks to be another busy and exciting one with several conferences, workshops and other events already in the pipeline.

Notable is the IPS Convention and Annual Assembly 2015 that will be held in Tullamore, Ireland on 7-11 June with an exciting meeting entitled “A New Conversation on Peatlands”. The Irish Peat Society invites members of the UK Peat Society to come across the Irish Sea and join in this event of significance to peatlands and peat.

The World Congress of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER2015) will be held in Manchester on
23-27 August, which many IPS members are expected to attend.

A workshop on ‘Molinia Management’ on upland peat in the UK will be held in Huddersfield on 14 – 16 September organised by the National Trust. The workshop is sponsored by the National Trust, Natural England and UK Peat Society (International Peat Society). Further information can be obtained from www.nationaltrust.org.uk/marsdenmoor.

The date and venue for this year’s UK Peat Society Annual Meeting have not yet been decided but it should take place in September.

For more information on the IPS National Committees see:
www.peatsociety.org/about-us/national-committees.

 

Annual Report 2013

UK Membership of IPS is the highest it has been for many years thanks to the continued faithful support of most members. More than 90% of those who were members in 2012 paid their subscription for this year. We gained six new members and lost only three, mostly students whose courses finished and they moved on. We welcome Westland Horticulture Ltd as our newest corporate member. They have taken advantage of the multiple benefits of corporate membership by naming six of their staff to receive Peat News and Peatlands International.

Thanks to the prompt payment of subscriptions and the increase in membership the UK Peat Society was able to contribute £500 towards the costs of the ”War and Peat” conference that was organised by the Landscape History Research Institute of Hallam University, Sheffield (Dr Ian Rotherham) on 4-6 September 2013. This meeting was attended by some 70 participants who listened attentively to 14 presentations and contributed to poster sessions and discussions.

The meeting began with an afternoon visit to Burbage and Houndkirk Moors in the Dark Peak of Derbyshire close to Sheffield that were used for military training in both World Wars. In WWI large numbers of soldiers were located there prior to being sent to the Front. During WWII decoy buildings and armaments were constructed on these moors to draw German bombers away from Sheffield.

The oral presentations provided much detailed information on the role of peatlands and moorlands in military campaigns from the middle ages up to WWII including the billeting of tens of thousands of soldiers on Cannock Chase in WWI to practice trench warfare. The Battle of Northampton (Wars of the Roses) and the River Nene and the role of wetland in determining the victor was the subject of an exciting presentation. Information was not confined only to England but there were presentations about the Falklands War, bogs in the 17th Century Dutch Republic and the military heritage of St. Helena. Other speakers dealt with military environmentalism on Ministry of Defence estates, role of warfare in early modern Europe, impact of military activity on peatland landscapes, ecology and archaeology and an account of modern conflicts between conservation and peat industry on Thorne Moors.

The UK Peat Society AGM was held in the Sheffield Showroom and Workstation on Thursday 5th September 2013. It was attended by six members with 8 apologies. The minutes of the meeting have been distributed to members. The following officers and ordinary members of the Executive Committee were elected:

Chair: Neil Godsman
Vice Chair: Susan Page
Secretary/treasurer: Jack Rieley
England: Chris Turner
Northern Ireland: James Hayes
Scotland: Steve Chapman
Wales: Fred Slater
Internal Auditor: Richard Meade

The secretary/treasurer presented the balance sheet and statement of accounts for the year ending 31st December 2012 which was accepted subject to scrutiny by Roger Meade the internal auditor. It was agreed to contribute £500 to the Flow Country Conference that will be held in Thurso on 4-7 March 2014. Similarly, £500 was allocated towards the cost of organising the ‘In the Bog’ conference in Sheffield on 3-5 September 2014 when we shall also hold the next AGM. It was decided to continue discussions with the International Mire Research Group (UK) and the British Ecological Society Peatlands Interest Group (PRIG) for joint activities and other forms of co-operation. The secretary reported that David Bellamy had been made an Honorary Member of IPS and we expressed our congratulations and best wishes to him.

Two prominent UK members of IPS received honours during the year. The Executive Board of the IPS granted Honorary Membership of the Society to Professor David Bellamy. David is a very significant and memorable person in peatland science and public life who has contributed massively to peatland conservation, education and management over the last 50 years. He is known as a prominent university professor, botanist, author, broadcaster and environmental campaigner. He has written and presented some 400 television programmes on botany, ecology and environment. His academic and research achievements include research on the peatlands of Europe from Iceland to the Mediterranean on which he published over 80 scientific papers and supervised more than 36 Ph.D. students. In addition he launched several conservation awards and programmes. David became a lecturer in Botany at the University of Durham in 1960 and was Senior Lecturer from 1968 until 1982, now being their Honorary Professor for Adult and Continuing Education. He has been a member of the International Peat Society since it was established in 1968, and was a principal keynote speaker at the Tullamore International Peat Congress in 2008.

Professor Susan Page, Professor and Head of the Department of Geography at the University of Leicester, UK and a member of IPS for many years was awarded the Busk Medal 2013 by the Royal Geographical Society for her work on conservation research on tropical peatland in Indonesia. The Medal was presented at the Society’s Medals and Awards celebrations on Monday 3 June 2013, hosted by the RGS President Professor Judith Rees. The interest in peatlands and peat in the UK is very high, especially in the fields of climate change and restoration. These activities involve a large number of peatland scientists and land managers many of whom are members of IPS. IUCN UK Committee has played a major role in coordinating peatland restoration activities and disseminating information through meetings and publications.

The Mires Research Group of the British Ecological Society (MRG) of which several IPS members are founders has been renamed the Peatland Research Interest Group (PRIG) and is becoming more active. A meeting was held to discuss future collaboration between these groups in Sheffield in May 2013 attended by Jack Rieley (IPS), Ian Rotherham (PRIG), Olivia Bragg (IMCG) and Rob Stoneman (IUCNUK). The group discussed current and emerging issues affecting peatlands in the UK and their responsible management, protection and restoration. Possibilities for future collaboration are being investigated.

Annual Report 2012

Membership is showing a welcome increase, especially of student members. At the end of 2011, I reported that membership had held steady, losing 4 and gaining 6. I am now pleased to say that, at the end of 2012, membership is the highest it has been for years, gaining 13 new members and losing only 2. Most of the new members are research students and this gives great hope for the future. In addition we also gained three new corporate members from the peat and growing media industries and two institutional members.

The other good news is that our financial situation has also improved, partly because of the increase in membership fees last year but also owing to the increase in the number of members. Corporate members with their higher fees are especially important in this respect. We have been able to pay the 2012 affiliation fee to IPS International early and still retain a small surplus. If membership can be maintained or increased, membership fees should remain at the current rate for some time and we can also start to plan to hold a meeting of members in order to place the administration of the UK Peat Society on a better and more sustainable footing. We need a new Chairman to replace Allan Robertson who is in a nursing home in Helensburgh, Scotland and unable to continue. In the meantime, Neil Godsman is acting Chairman but doesn’t wish to occupy the post permanently. As soon as we can arrange a meeting, ideally one that can become an annual event, we can elect officers and a new committee.

What follows are some current news items and information on a range of peat and peatland issues that have been of interest to UK members of IPS during 2012 or are planned for 2013.

Opportunities for joint meetings with IUCN/PRG/IMCG

The interest in peatlands and peat in the UK is very high, especially in the fields of climate change and restoration. These activities involve a large number of peatland scientists and land managers many of whom are members of IPS. IUCN UK Committee has played a major role in coordinating peatland restoration activities and disseminating information through meetings and publications. The Mires Research Group of the British Ecological Society (MRG) of which several IPS members are founders has been renamed the Peatland Research Interest Group (PRIG) and is becoming more active. It would seem appropriate to hold a meeting jointly with these UK Peatland groups and interests at which important and emerging issues can be discussed affecting peatlands in the UK and proposals made for their responsible management, protection and restoration. Possibilities for this collaboration are being investigated.

Peatland ecosystem goods and services

A Workshop on Ecosystem Goods and Services of Peatlands was held at the Joint British Ecological Society and IUCN UK Peatland Programme Symposium 2012 (Investing in Peatlands – Demonstrating Success) in Bangor, Wales on 26 – 28 June 2012. At this workshop the possibility of a joint session between IPS and IUCN on protection and restoration of tropical peatlands was mooted to be held at the 15th International Peat Congress in Kuching, Sarawak in August 2016; this suggestion is being investigated.

Meeting of the Irish Peat Society

Jack Rieley attended the Annual Meeting of the Irish Peat Society that was held in Westport, County Mayo on 15 – 17 October 2012. This consisted of a business meeting, study tour and seminar. The study tour started at Ballycroy National Park visitor centre with a talk on the park by Denis Strong and then went on to Strahduggan to visit a typical West of Ireland blanket bog. Lunch was provided at the Bellacorick offices of Bord na Mona. In the afternoon, an overview was given of the Oweninny peatland rehabilitation (following peat excavation for energy generation) scheme, wind farm project and Sphagnum regeneration. The tour ended with an introduction to and discussion on the Coillte Wilderness Project. The Irish Peat Society aims to bring together organisations (including Government bodies, academic institutions, NGOs and forest, peat and energy companies) and individuals with an interest in peatlands and peat.

IPS Strategic Plan

Following the resolution accepted at the end of the 14th International Peat Congress in Stockholm in June 2016, the Executive Board of IPS has commenced a detailed appraisal and revision of the Society’s Strategic Plan, Business Plan, operating structures and administrative procedures. The aim is to focus on peatland and peat issues of major importance during this quadrennium until 2016 and how to deal with emerging issues.

It is also intended to increase the effectiveness of IPS at national and international levels and improve services to members and others. The process commenced at a special Executive Board meeting in Amsterdam on 25 – 27 January 2013 where draft proposals were prepared for discussion with IPS members and peatland and peat stakeholders. The UK National Committee will take part in this consultation process. The new strategic plan will be adopted at the IPS Annual Assembly in Leiden, Netherlands in June 2013.

War and Peat Conference, Sheffield, 4 – 6 September 2013

Thanks to the prompt payment of subscriptions and the current increase in membership the UK Peat Society generated a small surplus in 2012 and we are able to co-sponsor a conference for the first time since “Peatlands, Ecosystems and Man: An Impact Assessment” in 1988! This was organised at the University of Dundee jointly by the British Ecological Society and International Peat Society. The Proceedings was edited by Olivia Bragg, Peter Hulme, Hugh Ingram and Allan Robertson and at least 10 of the current UK members of IPS attended and contributed to that important conference 25 years ago!

We are contributing £500 towards the costs of the “War and Peat” conference that is being organised by the Landscape History Research Institute of Hallam University, Sheffield (Dr Ian Rotherham) on 4 – 6 September 2013. Not only will this provide the opportunity to learn about fascinating aspects of upland moors, heaths, bogs and fens but it will enable us to hold the first business meeting of UK members of IPS for many years. Although the topic of the meeting may not be within our usual research interests the chance to meet with a range of peatland and peat interests and discuss future activities of IPS should not be missed. I hope as many as possible of you will attend.

The IPS UK contribution brings with it certain privileges for our members in reduced attendance fees for the ‘War and Peat’ meeting. They will be entitled to enrol at the reduced rate of £45 per day or £125 for the three days. Student and retired members can register for only £25 per day. A business meeting for IPS members is being planned for Thursday 5th September 2013.

Annual Report 2011

UK IPS membership through the UK Peat Society has remained stable during this year. We lost a few members through retirement but gained a some to compensate. We maintained a good mix of individual and corporate members. A positive sign is that several peat extraction and growing media companies are showing an interest in joining.

It is with some sadness that we report that Allan Robertson, Chairman of the UK Peat Society and Honorary President of IPS is now in a care home in Helensburgh, Scotland following deterioration of his health. He is now his 80’s and we wish him well. Until Allan’s situation becomes clear Neil Godsman has agreed to be Acting Chairman of the UKPS.

Again it was not possible to hold a face to face meeting of members this year owing to lack of interest and absence of another meeting onto which we could have grafted ours. We communicated by Email.

It has been a busy year responding to the activities of the DEFRA Task Force on phasing out the use of peat in England. The detail of this was published in Peatlands International Issue 1/2011 in ’An Appraisal of the UK DEFRA Consultation’.

IPS UK jointly sponsored a conference at Stockbridge Technology Centre, near York on 4th October 2011 on the topic ’Can Quality Plants be Grown without Peat? It was attended by almost 100 growers and horticulturists. Jack Rieley, Hein Boon and Gerald Schmilewski gave presentations. A follow up conference was held at the same venue on 16th Febrary 2012 specifically for amateur gareners who are the principal users of peat-based composts and plants in the UK. This was attended by more than 80 participants and Jack Rieley gave a short talk on the impact of peat extraction on biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions. A panel discussion revealed that gardeners were not being informed of the true facts about the extraction and use of peat in horticulture.

Peat and peatlands have been in focus again in the UK during the last year with the IUCN Peatland Programme holding a conference in Stirling on 20-22 June 2011. They have scheduled a follow up conference jointly with the British Ecological Socieety in Bangor University, Wales on 26-28 June 2012 on the topic ’Investing in Peatlands – Demonstrating Success’.

Jack Rieley
Secretary/treasurer UK Peat Society
UK National Committee of IPS

Annual Report 2010

Again, this year’s activities have focussed on consolidating the UK IPS membership through the UK Peat Society. We lost some members through retirement but gained a few to compensate.  We maintain a mix of individual and corporate members.

It was not possible to hold a meeting of members this year owing to lack of interest and absence of another meeting onto which we could have grafted ours.

Peat and peatlands have been in focus in the UK during the last year with the IUCN Peatland Programme conference in Durham on ”Investing in Peatlands: the Climate Challenge”that was  attended by 250 peatland scientists and managers.

The IUCN UK Committee is holding their next conference in Stirling on 20-22 June 2011 and if possible a meeting of the UK Peat Society will be held there.

The new UK Government Natural Environment Minister, Richard Benyon, has called for the elimination of peat from the amateur gardeners market by 2020 and its use by all gardeners, growers and procurers by 2030. This was the policy of the previous Government.

This UK Government has opened consultation on proposals for a new policy to reduce the horticultural use of peat in England. This ends on 11th March 2011. More information can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/peat/index.htm.

Annual Report 2009

Most of this year’s activities have been focussed on consolidating the UK Peat Society that was formed at the IPS Convention in Belfast last April. Membership has now risen back near to what it was at the peak of five years ago. We now have a good mix of individual and corporate members.

Since the successful IPS Convention and Seminar at Belfast a year ago activity has been low.

If sufficient UK members attend the 2010 Convention in Jyväskylä, Finland in June we shall hold a meeting of the UK Peat Society.

In the meantime we are looking to other opportunities in the UK to meet and discuss future activities.

Annual Report 2008

Most of this year’s activities have been focused on re-establishing the UK National Committee and consolidating its membership. The Secretary for many years resigned without handing over any of the membership or financial information and as an interim measure the IPS Executive Board at its meeting in Jyväskylä, Finland in November 2008 appointed Jack Rieley as Secretary/Treasurer and Allan Robertson as Chairman to run the affairs of the NC until a meeting of members can be held to elect officers and Executive Committee members.

It has taken almost 9 months to gain access to the bank account and transfer the mandate to the interim Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer. This has now been accomplished but the financial situation is poor because membership fees have not been collected from many members for several years. Members have been informed and they are mostly very supportive. Things are now being placed on a more efficient footing and plans are being made for future meetings and events.

Individual members are mostly renewing their subscriptions and even paying some arrears of fees but unfortunately, we seem to have lost contact with a number of our corporate industry members who were allied to the IPS through the Peat Producers Association of the UK and Ireland until its demise around 2004. All have been contacted and a few have now paid subscriptions for 2009 but others have not responded to frequent E-mails and information sent to them. I hope this will change over the next few months.

In our attempts to regroup and reactivate the UKNC we have taken on the organization of the IPS 2009 Convention in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 24 – 26 April and especially the seminar, workshop and excursion that are being held jointly with the Irish Peat Society. We are already ensured of a large audience for the seminar/workshop and a full excursion bus. In Belfast we shall also hold the AGM of the UKNC, elect office bearers and committee and make plans for the future. On the agenda is an exciting proposal to formally re-establish the UK National Committee of IPS as a platform to coordinate all those in the UK with interests in peat and peatlands. We intend to go from strength to strength.

USA

Contact Persons

Mr. Donald N. Grubich

10105 White City Road
Britt, MN 55710
USA

phone:  +1 218 741 2813

Dr. Thomas J. Malterer

2201 Vermilion Road
Duluth MN 55803
USA

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2018

The US National Committee (USNC) met several times during 2017. Three goals were addressed during the year. The first goal: to continue to work with the US Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS has nationwide responsibility for collecting and publishing yearly data on peat production and use. They are dependent on a voluntary reporting system by peat producers. The USNC has given the USGS contact information for companies and encouraged peat producers to report on their production. We have also reviewed yearly estimates with local resource managers.

The second goal: to maintain (refresh) contacts with state and federal agencies that regulate horticultural peat harvesting and the preservation of peatlands. Given the ever-changing personnel in these agencies, personal contact is essential, so that IPS perspectives can be presented and weighed as part of regulatory decision-making. Seven agencies were contacted. Under the current federal Trump Administration, the regulatory environment is being drastically reduced, and it is in a high state of flux. Under this uncertainty, the USNC remains active in communicating with regulatory agencies acting in an educational capacity, by providing agencies with reference publications and through discussions of peatlands during site visits.

The third goal: to increase IPS membership in the USA. IPS membership remains low among peatland experts and companies. Promotional efforts were directed at contacting current and past individual members and attracting new members who belong to scientific organizations (e.g., Society of Wetland Scientists). We emphasized the benefits of IPS membership in a local, state and world context. Results of our efforts are mixed. Some individuals and companies expressed interest in joining, while others stated that their interests were better served by other organizations.

Annual Report 2017

The U.S. National Committee (USNC) met several times during 2017. Three goals were addressed during the year. The first goal: to continue to work with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS has nationwide responsibility for collecting and publishing yearly data on peat production and use. They are dependent on a voluntary reporting system by peat producers. The USNC has given the USGS contact information for companies and encouraged peat producers to report their production. We have also reviewed yearly estimates with local resource managers.

The second goal: to maintain (refresh) contacts with state and federal agencies that regulate horticultural peat harvesting and the preservation of peatlands. The ever changing personnel in these agencies require personal contact so IPS perspectives can be presented and weighed as part of regulatory decision-making. Seven agencies were contacted. Under the current federal Trump Administration, the regulatory environment is being drastically reduced and it is in a high state of flux. Under this uncertainty, the USNC remains active in communicating with regulatory agencies acting in an educational capacity by providing agencies with reference publications and through discussions of peatlands during site visits.

The third goal: to increase IPS membership in the U.S.A. IPS membership remains low among peatland experts and companies. Promotional efforts were directed at contacting current and past individual members and attracting new members that belong to scientific organizations (e.g. Society of Wetland Scientists).

We emphasized the benefits of IPS membership in a local, state and world context. Results of our efforts are mixed. Some individuals and companies expressed interest in joining while others related that their interests were better served by other organizations.

Annual Report 2012

The US National Committee (USNC) continued support of the Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management. Through direct communications, and the Wise Use of Peatlands publication, the USNC provided regulatory agencies, concerned organizations and news outlets with balanced information on utilization of peatlands as well as on the protection of valuable and unique peatlands.

In the US, peatland restoration and rehabilitation remains a very important issue to the peat industry. Federal and state regulators require peat companies to re-wet post-harvested fields and revegetate these fields with specific peatland plants as a condition of issuing new harvesting permits, or reissuing existing harvesting permits. The USNC advocates for sound lowcost restoration methods that give long-term success. These methods have been developed in the worldwide IPS community. At nearly all regulatory levels, these methods are being accepted to meet permitting requirements.

The USNC met several times to strategize on how to: 1) increase IPS membership and 2) educate consumers on the beneficial use of peat in gardening and landscape applications. The USNC plans to sponsor and lead a peatland restoration tour as part of the Society of Wetland Scientists national meeting, to be held in Duluth, Minnesota. The IPS will be strongly promoted on this tour. The USNC plans to sponsor and lead two tours of peat production facilities in 2013 in Minnesota. The audience is master gardeners and commercial landscapers.

Tom Malterer and Donald Grubich participated in the 14th International Peat Congress in Stockholm. At the Congress, Tom was given a certificate naming him an Honorary Member of the IPS. Receiving this recognition, along with 2 colleagues from New Brunswick, Canada and Helsinki, Finland, was the highlight of his 34 year involvement with the IPS.