Peatlands play a significant role worldwide in the conservation of biodiversity. They are very important as an ecological infrastructure, as they both perform elementary functions - core areas for the conservation and promotion of the habitats of populations of priority species and network areas as a link between these populations. In addition to these basic functions of the ecological infrastructure, peatlands play a decisive role due to their various ecosystem services. They contribute to the conservation and promotion of biodiversity and ecological connectivity and they act as CO2 sinks and play an important role in climate change.
Peatlands are the ecosystems with the largest C-pool per unit area worldwide. Their degradation - particularly through drainage and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions - has a major impact on climate change. In the Alps they play an important role, as their main area of distribution is located here. The pressure on the peatlands, especially in the intensively used Alpine valleys, is very high. Like all ecological infrastructures, peatlands do not respect political boundaries. Therefore, the protection and promotion of Alpine peatlands requires international cooperation. In addition to the spatial planning safeguarding of the areas, active in-field implementation is required.
To achieve the objectives of peatland protection it is essential to involve experts and stakeholders who are active in the field of peatland, soil and climate protection. In addition, the data availability in the various Alpine countries must be harmonised and compiled in such a manner as to make them available to all stakeholders. This information will be integrated into the Impuls4Action Toolbox, to support the actors in their search for suitable examples of projects and applicable methods and in finding experts. Together with the national, regional and local experts and stakeholders from the Alpine region, a road map for further implementation projects in peatland conservation will be developed.
The peatland plain, which was drained after World War II, has a high potential for saving CO2 emissions. This was investigated in a study by WSL 2017. A revitalisation project of the peatlands and the stream flowing in the plain was prepared.