LIFE PeatCarbon

Peatland restoration for greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration in the Baltic Sea region

Project number: 101074396

Project acronym: LIFE21 – CCM – LV – LIFE – PeatCarbon

Project financial programme: European Commission LIFE Climate Action Programme 

Project duration: 01.07.2022. – 30.06.2027

Coordinating beneficiary: University of Latvia

Coordinator contacts: Māra Pakalne,, +371 29511001

Project coordinator at IES: Rūta Abaja,, +371 27818676

Project aim: implementation of Climate Change Mitigation (CCM) measures in peatlands, adaptation and demonstration of innovative tools and applicable methods for GHG monitoring

Participating nations: Latvia, Finland, Denmark, Germany

Project beneficiaries in Latvia: University of Latvia (LU), Institute for Environmental Solutions, “Baltijas Krasti”, SIA “AGS Sistēmas”, SIA “EthnoExpert”, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”

Beneficiaries from other countries: Finnish Meteorological Institution (Finland), Oulu University (Finland), Amphis international (Denmark), Luonnonvarakeskus – Natural resources institute (Finland), Naturschutzbund Deutschland (Germany), Silkeborgas municipality (Denmark)

Project budget: 4 425 740,42 euros

Financial support from the European Commission: 60%

Project sites in Latvia: Cenas Mire, Lielais Pelečāres Mire, Melnais Lake Mire and Sudas-Zviedru Mire in Gauja National Park

Project sites in Finland: Välisuo Mire and Matorova Mire

Project objectives:

  • Implementation of CCM measures in peatlands to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Latvia and Finland, thus contributing to the specific objectives of LIFE Climate Action.
  • Testing innovative monitoring methods for the comprehensive assessment of GHG emissions in Latvia and Finland, thus contributing to the identification, verification and demonstration of innovative CCM technologies, methods and instruments that are suitable for being replicated and transferred for management of peatlands in the Baltic Sea region and EU in general. Monitoring will be carried out for the implemented management measures in the project sites established within the proposed Project as well as previous LIFE project sites, thus ensuring the verification, uptake, replication and transferability of the results achieved under LIFE Climate Action programme, and upscaling the results of previous LIFE projects.
  • Monitoring of the CCM measures in 2 peatland restoration sites in Latvia – Lielais Pelečāre Mire Nature Reserve, Cena Mire Nature Reserve and 2 in Finland – Välisuo Mire, Matorova Mire in Finland as well as 3 LIFE Project sites where peatland restoration was carried out previously in Latvia: Cena Mire Nature Reserve (“LIFE Mires,” LIFE04 NAT/LV/000196),  Melnais Lake Mire Nature Reserve (“LIFE Raised bogs,” LIFE08 NAT/LV/000449) and Sudas-Zviedru Mire in Gauja National Park (“LIFE Wetlands,”  LIFE13 NAT/LV/000578), thus ensuring the verification, uptake, replication, and transferability of the results achieved under LIFE Climate Action programme.
  • Development of Tool for application of replicable and transferable remote sensing (RS) based monitoring and modeling tools for GHG assessments and inventories as well as for applying replicable and transferable indicators for the evaluation of peatland restoration success.
  • Carrying out innovative dissemination, awareness raising and training activities to improve the knowledge base for the development, assessment, monitoring, evaluation and implementation of effective CCM actions and measures for degraded peatlands and to enhance the capacity of national and local authorities to apply the knowledge in practice.
  • Harmonise peatland communication efforts, inside and outside LIFE PeatCarbon.

Expected results:

  • During the project implementation in period 2022-2027, the reduced amount of CO2 emissions in the project sites including degraded will reach 37117 tons CO₂ eq. yr⁻¹ in Latvia and 3500 tons CO₂ eq. yr⁻¹ in Finland.
  • Peatland Climate Change Mitigation (CCM) measures will be carried out in Latvia and Finland followed by the reduction of peatland degradation. The area where positive effect from management actions will be reached comprises 5076 ha in Latvia (Lielais Pelečāre Mire – 4946 ha, Cena Mire – 130 ha) 338 ha Finland Välisuo Mire 114 ha, Matorova Mire 224), and a total of 5414 ha in the project.
  • Comprehensive methodology for assessment of the CCM impacts of implemented measures regarding developed and evaluated replicable and transferable indicators for the evaluation of peatland restoration and recultivation success by applying RS solutions.
  • Development of modeling tools for a cost-effective monitoring and estimation of projections of GHG emissions from peatlands under diverse climatic conditions implemented in the simulation model (RS modeling tool, rapid vegetation monitoring).
  • Progress reports (or relevant documentation elaborated according to the LULUCF regulation), emission projections, and GHG inventories in The Baltic Sea region.
  • Improved methods and data presented in national GHG inventories and related documents in the Project countries.
  • Internationally applicable Best Practice Book on implementation and monitoring CCM measures, harmonized GHG measurement and data processing methods and an ecosystem model for degraded and abandoned peatlands in The Baltic Sea region.
  • Increased awareness of authorities, decision makers, local people, experts, and other relevant stakeholders regarding the impact of peatland use and restoration.
  • Improved synergies with other LIFE peatland projects in terms of communication activities and policy messages.

IES role in the project:

The main contribution of the IES to PeatCarbon is its expertise in remote sensing – we have previously assessed and modelled GHG emissions from peatlands based on different peatland vegetation classifications. To accurately map peatland vegetation types, we use hyperspectral sensor data collected by aircraft (see ARSENAL). The GHG emission estimates from the modelling process will be callibrated against reference data from in-situ GHG measurement devices deployed in the studied peatlands, thus refining the GHG emission values obtained.

In addition, the project will also evaluate the potential of satellite data to assess the GHG emissions of peatlands on a national scale, thus providing additional information for the national GHG reporting process.

In order to share the knowledge accumulated by the IES on the estimation of peatland GHG using remote sensing techniques, we will organise a workshop for industry professionals at the end of the project.

Read more on the project HERE.