Meeting on the restoration of peatlands and the establishment of a carbon credit system in Lithuania
On December 2 meeting was held on the restoration of cut-over peatlands and the establishment of a carbon credit system. The meeting was initiated by the Lithuanian peat producers association in cooperation with the Lithuanian Fund for Nature and the Foundation for Peatland Restoration and Conservation. The event was held in a hybrid way.
Taxes for companies for the carbon component of peat used for energy (heating) were discussed during the meeting. Prospects for the future extraction of highly decomposed peat suitable for energy have been discussed, i. y. following the decision of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to refuse subsidies and to introduce a carbon dioxide component for energy peat.
Another important issue discussed during the meeting was the improvement and / or restoration of peatllands as carbon storage ecosystems. Currently, there is a growing interest from companies and people to voluntarily reduce their impact on the climate. One option is to offset a company's or institution's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by supporting natural ecosystem restoration projects that also contribute to reducing GHG emissions.
Tree (forest) planting projects are already quite popular in the society, however it should be noted that, the restoration of the hydrological regime of the peatlands damaged by drainage would also contribute to the climate change mitigation. Restoration of damaged peatlands helps to create GHG savings from which CO2 credits are generated. Companies and people might purchase these credits and thus contribute to ecosystem restoration and climate change mitigation.
Establishing a credible, approved and transparent carbon credit system is essential to legitimize such activities. Experts from the Foundation for Peatland Restoration are working on the development of this system, based on a successful example implemented in Germany.
Currently, Foundation for Peatland Restoration in Lithuania is implementing two pilot projects, which were presented to the participants of the seminar by the head of the fund N. Zableckis. One of the sites is agriculturally used fen in the vicinity of Baisogala, which is being restored in an extremely intensively drained meadow. Another site extensively drained calcareous fen - Tartokas. The efficiency of peatland restoration is assessed in accordance with the German standard MoorFutures and the emission calculation methodology (GEST).
NOTE: The event was held in compliance with the security requirements for public events related to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.