Conclusion of the project "Peatlands"
It is impossible to manage peatlands sustainably and profitably while maintaining their role as carbon sinks.
The project "Peatlands" conducted by Jens Leifeld, Agroscope, indicates that extensively managed organic soils contain a greater amount of labile carbon than intensively managed ones. This means they have a high release potential for greenhouse gases. The type of land use (arable, grazing, forestry) is not crucial for the level of peat consumption.
Interviews with experts helped to identify the greatest challenges for a more sustainable soil management in the Seeland region of Bern. They include the high added value, the difficult economic situation of producers and the importance of vegetable growing for the identity of the region both in a socio-cultural and historic context. The region needs a broad-based, long-term vision that outlines how the drained peatlands could be used/maintained in the future.