Development of Sustainable (adaptive) peatland management by Restoration and paludiculture for nutrient retention and other ecosystem services in the Neman river catchment
DESIRE
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
2 Natural resources
objective
2.1 Clear waters

DESIRE

The DESIRE project improves the management of drained peatlands around the Neman river to reduce their nutrient and greenhouse gas emissions. The Neman river basin serves as a model area for EU-Russia/non-EU cooperation. DESIRE rehydrates selected drained peatlands and establishes a sustainable form of land use. Such wetlands serve as filters for water running into the river. The project provides instruments and incentives for others to copy the approach, e.g. adapted river basin management plans and agri-environmental schemes.
Project summary

Why to restore peatlands - Peatland protection is climate protection

Peatlands store enormous amounts of fresh water, carbon and nutrients. At the same time, peatlands are shaped strongly by drainage for agriculture, forestry and peat extraction; worldwide about 15 % of peatlands are drained and cause 5 % of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Neman river is one of the largest rovers in eastern Europe. In the catchment basin of Neman river in Belarus, Poland, Lithuania and Russia drainage leads to peat degradation and eutrophication of the river waters and the Baltic Sea. Rewetting can stop these processes and delivers manifold environmental benefits. Thus, it is of strong transnational relevance.

How DESIRE restores peatlands

The main goal of DESIRE is peatland rewetting and sustainable wet use (paludiculture) in the Neman catchment. A mixed approach is applied: drafting of policy recommendations, generating new knowledge via modelling the effectivity of rewetting and paludiculture as well as exemplarily rewetting of peatlands in the Neman catchment to function as wetland buffer zones. Harvesting of nutrient-rich biomass from pilot sites in Lithuania, Poland and Kaliningrad region (Russia) and its utilisation is meant to improve water quality. This so-called paludiculture integrates conservation and utilization.

How others learn from experience in DESIRE

The project’s aim is to increase the capacity of regional and national authorities in the Neman catchment, NGOs, agricultural consultants and other stakeholders to adopt policies that incentivise wet peatland management for nutrient retention. The project aims to feed into river basin management plans and to propose agri-environmental schemes as instruments and incentives for farmers. Pilot sites are used for awareness raising and demonstration of practices towards stakeholders. Institutional capacity building is carried out to scale up the approach across the catchment of the Neman.

Budgets

DESIRE
in numbers
  • 1.72
    Million
    Total
  • 1.16
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.23
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Highlights by mid-term

The project DESIRE created an interactive GIS map of the Neman river catchment, which presents an overview of peatlands in the project area. In Kaliningrad, joint field visits and workshops were carried out to involve stakeholders and to optimise the peatland map on the Kaliningrad territory. The map also includes the areas in the Belarusian catchment area on the basis of the peat map of Belarus. The map available at neman-peatlands.eu provides information on the size, type, and status (natural or degraded) of peatland.

The progress was also made towards the process of rewetting peatlands. Three pilot sites for the restoration of wet meadows were selected in Lithuania in the Zuvintas Biosphere Reserve. The selected sites for restoration in the framework of the DESIRE project cover an area of 41,5 ha.

Outputs

Project Stories

Partners

University of Greifswald

  • Town
    Greifswald
  • Region
    Vorpommern-Greifswald
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
524,259.43
54.09579113.3815238

Michael Succow Foundation

  • Town
    Greifswald
  • Region
    Vorpommern-Greifswald
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
201,527.23
54.09579113.3815238

Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW

  • Town
    Warsaw
  • Region
    Miasto Warszawa
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
236,988.04
52.231958121.0067249

Polish Society for the Protection of Birds

  • Town
    Marki
  • Region
    Warszawski wschodni
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
73,380.27
49.659722220.0602778

SUCCEEDED by PP10 (01.01.2019) Aleksandras Stulginskis University

  • Town
    Akademija, Kauno r.
  • Region
    Kauno apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
0.00
54.895381423.8238007

Lithuanian Fund for Nature

  • Town
    Vilnius
  • Region
    Vilniaus apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
212,228.70
54.687045825.2829111

State budget Institution of the Kaliningrad region "Nature park "Vishtynetsky"

  • Town
    Kaliningrad
  • Region
    Kaliningrad Oblast
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
268,050.00
54.71012820.5105838

Bialystok University of Technology

  • Town
    Bialystok
  • Region
    Białostocki
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
150,042.25
53.13239823.1591679

Vytautas Magnus University

  • Town
    Kaunas
  • Region
    Kauno apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
49,606.40
54.898213923.9044817