Restoration Know-How

Published: 19 February 2021
Last edited: 19 February 2021

A technical guidebook was developed on affordable approaches to peatland restoration. The key challenge was to bring together specialists from different fields (hydrology, biology, soil sciences, economy) to work together on developing a single most sustainable solution for each peatland; the process, therefore, involved a lot of learning and benefited from advice of German and British experts. The resulting know-how was approved as a Code of Best Practices, becoming a standard in peatland restoration in Belarus. The restoration approach relies on using local material and in a very few cases on more solid (concrete) constructions to block drainage ditches and thus stop/prevent water from running-off peatlands. The blocking constructions can be regulated if needed, allowing to adjust water level in the peatland as needed. An algorithm has been developed for identifying how many such constructions would need to be placed and where, depending on area size, elevation, and condition of the drainage ditches. (Further details on the technical aspects of the restoration approach can be found in the Guidebook itself). The re-wetting of temperate peatlands, as developed by a team of specialists led by Dr. Alexander Kozulin, can prevent emissions, restore hydrology, recreate habitat of water-birds and trigger re-start of peat accumulation.

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Management planning
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
National
Phase of solution
Implementation

Enabling factors

- specialists from different fields (hydrology, biology, soil sciences, economy) willing to learn and collaboration for developing single sustainable solution for each given peatland,

 

- advice from leading peatland researchers (Greifwald Institute Germany,  and RSPB, UK),

 

- Government willing to accept a long-term sustainable natural resource management as opposed to possible short term benefits that can be derived from immediate use of peatlands for fuel or agriculture.

Lessons learned

- For rewetting to be successful, there is a need for careful land altitude modelling, especially in case when there are signficant altitudinal changes across the peatland.

 

- There is a need for careful monitoring of the hydrotechnical facilities after rewetting, to make sure they function exactly as planned and to repair them on time in case of need. 

 

- It is important that the hydrotechnical facilities constructed as part of the rewetting have a clear owner/manager, responsible for their maintenance and observance of the post-restoration groundwater table level.

 

- Cost of restoration may vary. Belarus case has proven that there is no need for expensive constructions works (local materials can well serve the purpose), and no need for assisted re-vegetation / reseeding; most wetland communities return together with the return of the groundwater. 

 

Detained technical information (with examples and pictures) can be found in the Peatland Restoration Guide for which the link has been provided.

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