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Peatland Restoration and Sustainable Grazing in China

Ruoergai Plateau, China, Asia (32.20–34.10° N,102.15°–103.50° E)








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    Peatland restoration in China 2015
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    Situated at the headwaters of the Yellow River, the sedge-dominated peatlands in the Ruoergai plateau in China store water and supply it to downstream areas. These peatlands are important grazing lands for local pastoralists and play an important role in Tibetan culture. Other uses from the peatland are fuel, medical plants and honey. In the 1960 to 1970’s the Ruoergai peatlands, which had been drained for agriculture, began to be badly damaged by overgrazing. Assessments and field observations indicate that over 70 percent of the peatlands were severely degraded. As a result, a large amount of CO2 stored in the peat has been released to the atmosphere and biodiversity has been lost. All of these environmental consequences have had an impact on local livelihoods. With support from the Chinese government, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Union (EU), the following activities were tested and demonstrated on 4733 ha of peatland. These activities can be replicated to restore other peatlands with similar conditions
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    Biomass from Reeds as a Substitute for Peat in Energy Production
    Sporovo region, Belarus (N 52.379330, E 25.136771)
    2015
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    More than half of Belarus’ total peatland area (over 1.5 million ha) has been drained for agriculture, forestry and peat extraction. Out of this area, 122 200 ha are cutover peatlands that have been abandoned after peat excavation, and 36 800 ha are still being utilized. During the last few years, about 50 000 ha of drained peatlands have been rewetted. Another 500 000 ha are potentially available for hydrological restoration.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Restoration of Lands after Fuel Peat Extraction
    Kihniö Aitoneva, Finland (lat 62º12'N, long 23º18'E)
    2015
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    More than half of the total peatland area of Belarus (over 1.5 million ha) has been drained for agriculture, forestry, and peat extraction. Out of this area, 122 200 ha are cutover peatlands that have been abandoned after peat excavation and 36 800 ha are still being exploited. During the last few years, about 50 000 ha of drained peatlands have been rewetted. Currently, another 500 000 ha are potentially available for hydrological restoration.

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