On 10 to 11 April 2024, LIFE Platform Meeting on Soils was organised in Pamplona, Spain where soil experts and stakeholders shared insights and learnings on soil conservation, contamination and management. 


The European Executive Agency for Climate, Infrastructure and Environment (CINEA), the European agency that manages the European Commission's programs that contribute to decarbonization and sustainable growth, has chosen the capital of the Chartered Community of Navarre, Pamplona, as the venue for the LIFE platform meeting on the theme of soil.

The LIFE Platform Meeting on Soils, co-organised by LIFE NAdapta and LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050, was a two-day event that aimed to foster networking, feedback, and policy input among the stakeholders involved in soil-related projects funded by the LIFE Programme. About 50 projects participated, among them LIFE PeatCarbon project represented by the project manager Dr. Māra Pakalne and project expert geologist Dr. Andis Kalvāns who in a poster presentation oulined the project ideas and results.

The meeting covered three main soil sectors: conservation and adaptation, contamination and bioremediation, and management and mitigation.  This event was designed to identify the most significant contributions that the LIFE Program or other European programs (Horizon Europe, Interreg) can provide to achieve the objectives set by the new law and support its implementation.

Soils are crucial for biodiversity, food and economy and deserve the same level of protection as, to varying degrees, water, air, the terrestrial environment or the marine environment, for example. The LIFE program has funded several projects addressing soil issues in different sectors. From the analysis of the projects previously approved, and ongoing, it is possible to identify the main sectors or themes, or areas of work into which projects could be grouped for a LIFE platform meeting on soil, and they are: 1) Soil conservation and adaptation to climate change (including the urban context) 2) Soil contamination and bioremediation 3)Soil management in the agricultural sector.

The participants also discussed horizontal topics such as climate change, promotion of soil literacy, economic opportunities, and water-soil nexus. In addition, the attendees were invited to share their professional experience, as well as the challenges and best practices for implementing the EU Soil Strategy and the upcoming Soil Directive


Photo Māra Pakalne, Marvin Gabriel


The peatland post documents our shared journey towards restored and protected peatlands. As a group of peatland-related LIFE projects, we came together to create the Peatland Post to gather our shared progress and celebrate our small and big wins. The quarterly newsletter will provide you with project updates and peatland policy-related news. Sign up – we will make it worth your time. 

The 5th peatlands day organised by the Finnish Peatland Society took place in Helsinki on the 5th of April, 2024. Through its activities, the society promotes multidisciplinary research on Finland’s peatlands, and sustainable management of their ecosystems. The theme of the seminar was to investigate peatlands as the moderators and accelerators of environmental transitions (e.g. climate change, biodiversity loss). Similar polarization is often brought up in public discussion, and there is an urgent need for reliable knowledge on the best practices to mitigate environmental degradation on peatlands. It was great to see the top peatland scientists in Finland come together, and discuss the perspectives found in their research. 
Several LIFE PeatCarbon project members from Finnish Meteorological Institute, Natural Resource Institute Finland, and University of Oulu took part in the seminar, and Jack Chapman presented the first measurements from Matorovansuo restoration site – a LIFE PeatCarbon study site located in Northern Finland – in a poster. The measurements taken in Matorovansuo during the first year were taken prior to the restoration and will later serve as the reference data for assessing the impacts of the restoration. The data includes, e.g., greenhouse gas flux measurements and peatland vegetation analysis.


Three significant issues were identified throughout the seminar: 

  • Peatland ecosystems are diverse and their responses to environmental change are not yet fully understood despite many field studies and measurement campaigns. More efforts are needed to understand the main processes on different peatlands, and to further develop process-based models. Through process-based modelling, we could better assess large-scale impacts and scenarios of peatland management. 
  • A large proportion of peatlands in Finland are heavily managed (drained) and provide ecosystem services (agriculture and forestry) to the landowners and society at large. How can we reconcile emission reduction targets, ecosystem conservation and economic benefits from these areas? 
  • Several comments reminded us that releasing carbon from the peat soil is a fundamentally different process than storing the same amount of carbon to vegetation. Pristine peatlands can store carbon permanently if the water level in the peatland is kept above the peat layers, whereas CO2 stored in tree biomass is generally released back into the atmosphere within decades.

The peatlands day provided new insights and ideas that will be further developed during the LIFE PeatCarbon project. Work continues!

Text: Kielo Isomäki.
 Photos: Tuula Aalto

Restoration Plan for the Finnish LIFE PeatCarbon project sites in Pallas, Välisuo and Matorovansuo Mires (68◦ N; 24◦14’ E.), was finalized and approved in late 2023 with the Finnish authority Metsähallitus (Finnish Forest and Park Service, https://www.metsa.fi/en/) who is responsible for the actual restoration work conceived in 2024. The sites have been described in detail at the LIFE Peat Carbon webpages (https://www.peatcarbon.lu.lv/en/project-summary/finland/project-sites/).

Figure 1. Location of the restoration sites and their catchment areas. Matorova Mire is marked on grey dashed line and Välisuo Mire with red dashed line. 

The two mires were drained in 1960-ties and 1970-ties for forestry and the restoration aims to return the ecology of a pristine peatland in the area. These large peatland areas were drained at least on the edges, which has affected the hydrology of the peatland and vegetation also in their undrained central parts. The planning process included a substantial amount of planning and fieldwork to achieve the best possible knowledge, for example about the drainage paths and present conditions of the ditches. Black-and-white aerial photographs taken in 1957, with a coarse resolution, were used to assess the condition of the sites before the drainage. In addition, aerial photographs from 1996, 2004, 2012 and 2018 were used together with field surveys to assess the natural state of the sites. 
Peatland Restoration Plan includes measures for both rewetting and tree harvesting by returning the original tree biomass. The targeted plan for tree harvesting is conducted in winter 2024 and area with benefitte dwarf birch Betula nana will be harvested. The trees that have survived from the pre-drainage are identifiable 

Undrained and drained pine flark fens in Matorovansuo Mire restoration area and the benefitted dwarf birch Betula nana areas.    
Rewetting will be conducted through ditch blocking (dams and filling) and via directing water to the peatland (Fig. 3). The goal is to restore the water balance of the mires and their various parts as close as possible to the condition that prevailed before the drainage. The task is to return the water flows coming to the mire and moving between different parts of the sites to the conditions before the drainage. The water flows leaving the areas are slowed down (however, not completely blocked) and, if necessary, directed to the way they were estimated to be before the drainage. In addition to using peat to fill the ditches dams will be built from the harvested trees. Combination of peat and three logs will also be used.

Figure 2. Example of plans for building wood dams (PP), peat dams (TP), filling the ditches (OT) and directing water to the peatland (VOS) from southern part of Matorova Mire. 

Restoration is put into practice during winter-summer 2024. We have marked all the area where heavy machinery cannot be used, including our monitoring instruments and sites as well as the board walks built for LIFE PeatCarbon monitoring work. After snowmelt rewetting will be conducted with two above mentioned routes: through ditch blocking (dams and filling) and by directing water to the peatland.  

Photos Timo Penttilä.

In response to the invitation from the Embassy of Ireland in Latvia to introduce the Irish Minister Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett to tell about the peatland protection and management of in Latvia, on 18 March Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne had an opportunity to guide the Minister to the project's study area - Cenas Mire, an specially protected nature reserve in Latvia. The excursion was attended by the Ambassador of Ireland to Latvia Eimear Friel, adviser to the Minister Declan O'Rourke, Private Secretary to the Minister Jacquie Casey and Deputy Head of Mission at the Irish Embassy Chris Boyle, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and "Rīgas meži" Lt. The University of Latvia was represented by the LIFE PeatCarbon project expert in geology Dr.geol. Andis Kalvāns and project coordinator Pēteris Āboliņš.
During the meeting, LIFE PeatCarbon project manager Māra Pakalne introduced with the biodiversity of Cenas Mire, its role in climate regulation, carbon sequestration and global warming mitigation. Particular attention was paid to the raised bogs found here, whose distribution has been significantly reduced in large parts of Europe as a result of human activities. Latvia's raised bogs are therefore of considerable importance in the European context and are a priority habitat for protection in the European Union. The area of natural raised bogs in Latvia is also declining. The question of how to restore bogs is therefore a pressing issue both in Latvia and in Ireland. Māra Pakalne, the project manager, talked about the experience of the project in peatalnd restortaion in Cenas Mire. Minister Pippa Hackett was particularly impressed by the results of raised bog restoration in the area of Skaists Lake, as she had not seen such results before. The measures taken to protect the raised bog have reduced water run-off from the site. As a result, pine trees, which developed largely as a result of the drainage of raised bog, have started to die back. The raised bog is thus approaching its original, natural situation with a slight woody plant cover. Discussions at  Skaists Lake were sparked by the particular issue in Ireland of restoring bogs where they border farmers' properties. Restoring bogs reduces greenhouse gas emissions from bogs in the long term, as the water level rises and the bog's characteristic plants become established. However, it is almost impossible to restore the original bog vegetation and its structure with the micro-relief of open water pools, hummocks and hollows. These raised bog conditions have developed over thousands of years as a result of interactions between vegetation and climate. It is particularly difficult to recreate bog conditions in open peat fields after peat extraction has ceased, as the climate today is not as suitable for raised bog development as it was thousands of years ago.
Walking along the nature trail of the Cenas Mire, Minister Pippa Hackett listened with interest to the most important plants of the mire, including Sphagnum moss, which is the main peat-former. Discussions with the Minister revealed that although there are raised bogs in Ireland and Latvia, they are very different, both because of the climatic conditions and because of the nature of their formation. The Minister mentioned the Clara Bog in Ireland, where significant restoration work is being carried out to prevent erosion and the effects of drainage, while working with local people. The LIFE project manager, Māra Pakalne, also had the opportunity to visit this bog, which facilitated an interesting exchange of experiences on bog conservation. The project expert Andis Kalvāns talked about the hydrological studies in the Cenas Mire, and also mentioned the greenhouse gas measurements in the site by the project beneficiary Forest Research Institute "Silava". The Minister was also interested in the role of the partners in the project, which now totals 12, with 4 countries - Latvia, Finland, Germany and Denmark. 
The Irish Minister Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett, praised the work of the LIFE PeatCarbon project team and the added value of the project for nature conservation. She said she was particularly impressed by the results of the restoration of the Cenas Mire and by the extensive natural landscape of the raised bog, which could be seen from the watching tower.  
The day after the visit of Cenas Mire, at a reception organised by the Irish Embassy, Minister Pippa Hackett expressed her gratitude to the University of Latvia LIFE PeatCarbon project team for the opportunity to visit Cenas Mire and learn about Latvia's leadership in the conservation and management of the mires. 
More information about the LIFE PeatCarbon project at www.peatcarbon.lu.lv
Information prepared by M. Pakalne, tel. 29511001, e-mail: mara.pakalne@lu.lv


How does the restoration of forestry drained peatland affect the carbon and water cycles, vegetation, and microbial communities in LIFE PeatCarbon project study sites? This is being investigated in a project near Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park in Matorovansuo and Välisuo peatlands in Finland.

Peatlands depend on water, and restoration aims to raise the water level back to its natural level. The goal is the recovery of northern fen environments and the return of diverse, partly endangered species. Raising the water level is vital to prevent the decomposition of old peat and the release of carbon into the atmosphere, while enabling the accumulation of new peat and carbon.

Some of the trees in the area are being cut down, and the trunks and logging residues are used to block the ditches, deviating from the established peatland restoration method of Metsähallitus, where the ditches are filled only with peat. This is done to restore the original tree density and maintain the subsurface water flow typical of northern fens. Logging residues slow down the water flow, and the released nutrients promote microbial activity, which will form a biofilter and reduce nutrient leaching into downstream waters. Wood biomass in peat increases soil carbon storage.

Peatland restoration is part of the LIFE PeatCarbon project, funded by the European Union from 2022 to 2027 and coordinated by University of Latvia. Finnish partners in the project include the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the University of Oulu, and the Natural Resources Institute Finland, as well as Metsähallitus, which carries out the peatland restoration measures. Other project partners are from Denmark, Germany, and Latvia.

Changes in greenhouse gases and vegetation are being investigated through joint research

The Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Natural Resources Institute Finland measure greenhouse gas fluxes (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) in the restored areas before and after restoration. This allows the quantification of the impact of restoration on peatlands immediately in the first years after the intervention. Continuous micrometeorological eddy covariance measurement is one of the state-of-the-art measurement methods used.

"It is expected that restoration will quickly lead to changes in water conditions and greenhouse gas balances, but changes in vegetation will take longer to become apparent. The Natural Resources Institute Finland is studying the effects of restoration on the area's vegetation and microbial communities by measuring them before and after restoration. Remote sensing methods play an important role," says Senior Researcher Jenni Hultman from the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Microbes are studied using precise sequencing methods that provide information not only about species but also about microbial functionality. Functions related to greenhouse gas cycles are of particular interest.

Greenhouse gas measurements are used to support modelling of greenhouse gas budgets. Researchers from the Finnish Meteorological Institute are modelling the effects of restoration on the area's greenhouse gas balances and peat carbon storage decades into the future.

"Simulations seek to answer questions such as how climate change affects greenhouse gas balances and soil water conditions, and how fast peat accumulates. These questions will be answered by models that accurately describe peat and vegetation processes," says Principal Scientist Tuula Aalto from the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The study is part of the Finnish Meteorological Institute's long-term research activities in the Pallas region.

The mysteries of soil water are being investigated using a variety of methods and combined with modelling

A research group at the University of Oulu is studying how restoration changes the hydrological conditions in the area.

"When the ditches are blocked, where will the spring melt water go? Surface water flows are expected to become more uniform, and as the groundwater level rises, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to decrease. We are building models of these effects on the catchment water system, which will allow us to assess the effects of restoration up to 50 years into the future," says doctoral researcher Anna Autio from the University of Oulu.

To refine their models, researchers from the University of Oulu carry out wireless monitoring. Ground-penetrating radar surveys are also carried out in the spring. The measurements determine the thickness of the peat layer and soil structures, such as rapidly permeable sand layers, to determine where water goes or stays. Modelling is being developed so that the effects of restoration in other areas can also be assessed using these models.

The University of Oulu's research in the Pallas region is part of projects funded by the Academy of Finland and the EU, as well as the flagship project Digital Waters.

The Matorovansuo and Välisuo peatlands are one of the northernmost restoration sites in the world, where the effects on hydrology, greenhouse gases, vegetation, and microbiota will be closely monitored in the coming years.


For more information:

Tuula Aalto, Principal Scientist, Finnish Meteorological Institute, tel. 029 539 5406, tuula.aalto@fmi.fi

Anna Autio, Doctoral Researcher, University of Oulu, Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, tel. 045 858 6958, Anna.Autio@oulu.fi

Jenni Hultman, Senior Researcher, Natural Resources Institute Finland, tel. 029 532 2798, jenni.hultman@luke.fi

The original article

In 2024 the annual Scientic Conference of the University of Latvia takes place already
the 82 nd time. (https://www.konference82.lu.lv/)  Traditionally the conference is
organized in several science blocks, including Natural Sciences, comprising a wide range
of themes from many research directions. At the Conference the LIFE PeatCarbon
project team introduced their research results and future plans.
The first presentation was delivered on February 8 at the Plant Breeding and
Introduction session of the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia, dedicated to the
problems of creating and maintaining living plant collections, theoretical and practical
aspects of plant breeding, as well as plant tissue cultures, research in plant physiology
and biodiversity conservation. Līga Strazdiņa introduced the Habitat of the Year 2024 –
Wetlands, which also includes mires
(https://conferences.lu.lv/event/409/attachments/412/1091/Programma.pdf). On a
global scale, protection of wetlands is provided by the Ramsar Convention. Within the
framework of EC LIFE Programme and other funding programs, experts of the University
of Latvia Botanical Garden have contributed to the preservation of biological diversity
and the restoration of degraded habitats in three internationally important Ramsar sites
– Nothern Bogs, Lake Engure, as well as Teiči and Pelečāre Bogs, which is the LIFE
PeatCarbon project site. As part of the project, it is planned to install a new Mire
exposition at the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia. Therefore, in the
conference, examples from other botanical gardens of the world were shown, where
similar expositions are also installed. Promoting public education about wetlands and
the plants found in them will improve understanding of the need to preserve natural
values, as well as understanding the goals of the LIFE program.
On February 16. Another seesion of the 82 nd University Scientifoc Conference took place
under the title “Changes in the dynamics of bog development under the influence of
natural conditions and human activity”, organised by the faculty of Geography and Earth

(https://www.geo.lu.lv/fileadmin/user_upload/lu_portal/projekti/gzzf/Konferences/Purvu_programma_2024.pdf )

The Conference session was devoted to the actual peatland development and
management problems. The Programme included 19 presentations and a poster. The
peatland renaturalisation and recultivation possibilities were discussed, importance of
the study of paleovegetation and geology, model for peatland restoratation was
demostrated and the role of paludiculture stressed. It was stressed that there are
various information about the peatland area in Latvia that gives evidence to the lack of
recent peatland inventory.
At the Peatland session there were three presentations from LIFE PeatCarbon project
experts. Dr. geol. Andis Kalvāns expert in geology from University of Latvia talked about

the methodology for planning of hydrological restoration of drainage impacted raised
bogs, referring to the examples of Lielais Pelečāre Mire and Cena Mire. The
methodology includes GIS data base that includes various data sources, like, geological,
topographic and habitat maps, as well data created during the project – the precise
location of drainage network, ditch location and peatland deposit evaluation,
georeference photo acrhive. In the next step of the work the possible locations of the
dams will be identified on all the ditches in the territoe=ry of the Lielas Pelečāre Mire.
After that in the joint expert meetings the most effective ways of peatland restortaion
will be determined.
The results of hydrogeological modeling for the evaluation of the peatland restoratation
effect in Cena Mire and Lielais Pelečāre Mire were presented by modeling expert from
the University of Latvia Andrejs Timuhins. The three layer model is based on MODFLOW
program. As a result of modeling, the static water level for both the mire scenarious for
the time period from 2008 to 2018 with and without dams on drainage ditches were
obtained. The effect of raising of water level by building of dams was analysed. Insipte
to that fact that the analysis is based on the non-calibrated model, the model
qualitatevely reveals the natural processes in both the mires and allow the evaluation of
the effect of the stabilization of site hydrology.
The project manager and mire expert from University of Latvia Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne
informed about the vegetation change after carrying out restoration measure by raising
of water level in Sudas-Zviedru Mire. The study of the area started already within the
previous LIFE Wetlands LIFE13 NAT/LV/000578 project.
In Sudas-Zviedru Mire with the total area of 2575 ha hydrological and vegetation studies
were carried out and vegetation monitoring plots set up in 2015. To stabilse the site
hydrological regime, in 2017 in total 67 peat or wood dams were built. Mire vegetation
monitoring was carried out in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2023 before and after raising
of water level. In the next vegetation period rising of water level, immediate changes
were observed, including the re-appearance of Sphagnum cuspidatum in the drainage
ditches and nearby area. Still, 5 years after the start of restoration, the vegetation in
drainge impacted parts still differs from the natural mire vegetation but the repeated
monitoring in 2023 shows that the re-growth of mire species, like Drosera rotundifolia,
Rhynchopora laba, Oxycoccus palustris and other plant species characteristic for intact
mire vegetation takes place in the degraded raised bog areas.
In 2023 in Sudas-Zviedru Mire was started also the monitoring of greenhouse gas
Participation at the University scientific conference is an excellent possibility for the
exchange of ideas for the continuation of mire studies within the LIFE PeatCarbon

Photos: Mara Pakalne,  Līga Strazdiņa

Wetlands is an important habitat of Latvia’s landscape and this year Latvian Fund for Nature has nominated wetlands as the habitat of the year 2024. The reason is to update problems and educate the wider public about little-known natural values and wetlands are one of them.

Wetlands are a wet area, or an area covered by shallow layer of water. They includes floodplain meadows, fens and raised bogs, naturally flooded forests, shallow lakes and other habitats where land and water meets.

This year, on 2nd February, when we celebrate the World Wetlands Day, is the start of the Month of Wetland conservation and restoration. In Wetlands Month of 2024, emphasis is placed on the urgent need to act and restore wetlands worldwide. More than 35% of wetlands have disappeared globally during last 50 years even three times faster than forests.

Wetlands are a rich and unique world, the home of many species, but little-known and not very popular as a tourism destination or site of recreation. One of the reasons is their unavailability. It is hard to imagine that someone wants to go for walk through a flooded meadow, wade in a raised bog or a muddy and covered by reeds shallow lake side, just to observe what a species of plants or insects live there. Except nature specialists, of course. Therefore, they can show how beautiful and attractive this world can be to the eyes of a patient and curious visitor. As well, how valuable this habitat is and how useful for ensuring the normal regime of natural processes.

Wetlands provide flood control, their carbon capturing abilities pack a big punch and helping to keep the heat trapping gas that contributes to climate changes out of the atmosphere.

A wide variety of species live in wetlands – birds, including ducks, geese, and waders, use wetlands as pit stops during migrations, providing them with protection and food. Mammals like otters and beavers rely on wetlands to find food and shelter. Of course, wetlands are home to many types of fish and insects.

In Latvia there are 6 large wetland area which are protected by Ramsar Convention (dated from 1971) – Lubāna Wetland Complex, Teiči and Pelečāre Bogs, Northern Bogs, Pape Wetland Complex, Lake Engure and Lake Kaņieris.

One of these areas – Lielais Pelečāre Mire is LIFE PeatCarbon project site, which is in South-East of Latvia and has large territory - 5683 ha. The mire has the micro-relief consisting of hummocks, hollows, and bog pools. The drainage effect of the ditch systems can be observed on mire margins. Project activities there are related to the significant importance of wetlands in mitigating climate change processes.

Lielais Pelečāre Mire is highly important environment for rare bird species like black-throated diver, black stork, capercaillie, lesser spotted eagle and others.

To get to know the above-mentioned values more closely, it is worth go out into nature accompanied by a specialist. It is possible to use already established tourism infrastructure – footbridges, bird observation towers, well-equipped resting areas, such as the footbridge and tower of Teiči Mire. This is an adventure which will take you out of your usual comfort zone and will give you incredible aesthetic pleasure instead.

Photo: Māra Pakalne, Aivars Petriņš, Diāna Nemme

In celebration of World Wetlands Day 2024 theme Wetlands and Human Wellbeing, our multinational team shared their personal and national peatland stories. In the process, we discovered that peatlands in Finland and Latvia alike are cloaked in a veil of folklore – illustrating their mysterious, beautiful and threatening features.

Historically, picking berries in the mires was an important part of creating a livelihood in rural communities, both in Finland and Latvia. Whereas berries were rarely the sole base of income, their harvest proved to be a welcome financial aid and source of Vitamin C. Whether in the shape of blueberries, lingonberries, bog bilberries, cloudberries or cranberries, depending on the season and location. As the entire family was involved, competitions were held to encourage even the tiniest hands to pick fast, followed by jam-making and warm cups of tea. As such, berry picking is a central childhood memory for many.

Revealing the importance of peatlands, the Finnish language has multiple words for them – depending on the vegetation that can be found around it. Furthermore, a lot of folklore in Latvia and Finland is centered around peatlands. It is through the mysterious drape these stories put around the ecosystems, that the peatlands have been protected from utilization as holiday destinations. Yet they also contributed to the exploitation of peatlands and their transformation into land that can easily be cultivated - drained for agriculture or timber production.

Not land, not water – peatlands are places that people struggle to put in a box. As such they often evoke fear - it seems that due to their changing nature, they are dangerous environments. And it is true, peatlands come with their own challenges. For instance, one can easily get lost whilst picking berries, with a repetitive landscape orientation is not easy. Furthermore, the marsh is home to multiple mud pools, wading through them, it is not easy to judge their depth and there is a risk of drowning.
These dangers are reflected in stories told to keep the children at bay, and so mires became homes to witches and the devil himself. In Latvia for instance one can find countless “Purva Velnezers ” (Devil's Lake in the bog) and “Raganu purvs” (Witch's bog) and in Finnish folklore, they are seen as the gateway to the afterlife. As such the mud pools would bring you to the underworld, making them scary and to be avoided.

Being the most common home to the will-o'-the-wisp (also known as ignis fatuus or jack-o-lanterns) mires have done little to mitigate the tales. The flickering flame of the will-o’-the-wisp is said to lead people to a treasure, luring them into the swamp at night. Though the appearance of the flicking light has been explained as a natural phenomenon caused by a methane discharge, it is most commonly associated with ghosts, fairies and elves. Further amplifying the mystical aura most peatlands already have.

As the role of peatlands changed - a majority of the people no longer depend on them for their livelihood – so did their image in our collective minds change. No longer are they places of hardship, family gatherings or youthful competition. Fueled by their difficult terrain, a plentitude of mosquitos in the vicinity and lack of obvious attractions, the tales about them became more common than first-hand experiences. Thanks to their murky image and pragmatic lack of solid ground, peatlands in Europe constitute some of our last wild places.

As such, a newly discovered trait of peatlands gains recognition – in a world that is spinning ever faster, with noise reaching us seemingly everywhere peatlands have managed to stay wild and silent. Walking into a mire, it is the absence of noise that is the most welcome. Unlike other ecosystems the inhabitants of the mires are quiet, stalking carefully through the bog a deer will be seen long before it's heard. Mires offer a tranquility most people only know from stories long gone. Visiting them, one can take an escape from the daily hustle – and renew a connection to places that, though changed, still hold the stories of the past. It might be because time passes differently for most peatlands - sphagnum grows by 1cm each year and its mummification qualities are well known – that they nowadays are valued for a calmness only the old ones have.

Photo: Māra Pakalne


On December 4, 2023, meeting (meeting programme) of the LIFE PeatCarbon project Steering group was held in which 33 participants participated. It was followed by a meeting of the project Scientific group with 29 participants. Both took place in person at the University of Latvia House of Science and online as well. 

The meeting of the Steering group was opened by the Project manager of the LIFE PeatCarbon project, Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne from the University of Latvia (LU) presenting the results of LIFE PeatCarbon project activities in Latvia. Afterwards, Ruta Abaja from the Environmental Solution Institute told about the progress of remote sensing. National coordinator for Finland Dr. Tuula Alto was the next speaker presenting project's activities in Finland. In continuation Dr. biol. Līga Strazdiņa from LU informed about the Hydrology Restoration Plans for Cena Mire and the Lielais Pelečāŗe Mire. Afterwards, project expert Jenni Hultmann shared Finland's experience in the preparation of Peatland Management Plan. This was followed by information on the project's communication activities by project manager, Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne and the project's public relations specialist Diāna Nemme, as well as Leticia Jurema from NABU and Igors Semjonov from "EthnoExpert". NABU coordinator Marvin Gabriel closed the meeting with a talk about LIFE Multi Peat monitoring activities and results

The meeting of the scientific group was opened by Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne, introducing Jack Chapman from the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Hanna Marttila from the University of Oulu, who talked about greenhouse gas (GHG) measurements and hydrogeological research in Finland. Andis Lazdiņš from the Latvian State Forestry Institute "SILAVA" shared Latvia's experience in GHG measurements. Aleksi Räsänen from LUKE told about the results of mire vegetation and remote sensing in Finland. After that Dr.geol. Andis Kalvāns who had a joint presentation with Dr. geol. Aija Dēliņa and Kondrāts Popovs from the University of Latvia, shared the experience of hydrogeological studies of Latvia mires. It was followed by a presentation on hydrogeological modeling in Latvia by Uldis Bethers, Andrejs Timuhins and Juris Seņņikovs from the University of Latvia. Aija Vanaga from "Baltija krasti" told about the ecosystem service monitoring methodology. In conclusion, Marzenna Rasmussen from AMPHI called for an experience exchange trip to Denmark in 2024". 

More about project activities you can read here.

Photo: Māra Pakalne, Diāna Nemme 

On November 29, 2023, a conference “Good practices in peatland restoration” organized by RTU VASSI and the European Commission's Fair Reorganization Platform on the restoration of historical peat mining sites took place in Riga Tehnical University (RTU) premises.  

The event was attended by representatives of the European Commission, the consultancy company COWI, the International Peat Association and the International Peat Society and representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Regional Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, Latvian State Forests, the Latvian Peat Association, Vidzeme Planning Region, peat mining and recycling companies and other stakeholders. LIFE PeatCarbon project was represented at the event by the project's national coordinator Pēteris Āboliņš, Dr.geol. Andis Kalvāns, public relations specialist Diāna Nemme and project manager Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne, who gave a presentation at the event talking about the achievements, challenges and news of the LIFE PeatCarbon project. 

Local and international industry experts shared insights on emission measurements and historical assessment of peat mining site degradation at the conference. 

This conference provided an opportunity for industry professionals to meet and discuss the sustainable restoration of historic peat mining sites and also emphasized the need for joint efforts in the development and implementation of sustainable restoration strategies. 

More about the conference here.

Photo: Diāna Nemme

On November 3rd, 2023, the seventh meeting of Latvian LIFE Program projects was held. Purpose of this event was to inform the participants about Latvian LIFE project results, activities and challenges, as well as to share experiences and discuss current issues related to the implementation of LIFE projects. 

In total 31 representatives from 9 Latvian LIFE projects participated in the event. LIFE PeatCarbon project was represented by Māra Pakalne, Pēteris Āboliņš, Diāna Nemme and Andis Kalvāns. In the first part of the event, participants were guide to 2 excursions - Nature park "Ragakāpa" and Kaniera Lake in the Ķemeri National Park. Representatives from LIFE-IP LatViaNature project shared their experience on dune, meadow and calcareous fen management. 

In the second part of the meeting, representatives of Latvian LIFE projects shared information about the project activities. LIFE PeatCarbon project manager Dr. Māra Pakalne gave a presentation on current situation and future plans. Presentations were followed by the discussion part.  

More about the event here

Photo: Diāna Nemme

Selonia, a cultural region in South East of Latvia, is rich with several high quality raised bogs, and one of them is Rožu Mire (total area 1010.2 ha). An especially protected nature area was established in 1987 to protect the raised bog habitat and >30 rare and protected plant and animal species. The territory here was formed during 9-10 thousand years. However, in the second half of the last century, a network of drainage ditches was dug on the S, SW and W edge of the mire to increase the growth of trees. Unfortunately, the drainage has also degraded the raised bog habitat, so in 2010-2013 the EC LIFE project "Restoration of raised bog habitats in the especially protected nature areas of Latvia" (Raised Bogs, LIFE08 NAR/LV/00049) was implemented here. 

In order to improve the hydrological conditions of the Rožu Mire, in 2012, excavators worked here and built 59 peat dams on the drainage ditches. To this day, the dams successfully stop the outflow of water from the mire. Restoration of the hydrological regime of the mire was carried out in a total area of 235 ha. 

To evaluate the results of the hydrological regime stabilization of the Rožu Mire, on November 1, 2023, 10 representatives from Ltd. "Latvijas valsts meži" South Latgale region and 5 representatives from the LIFE PeatCarbon project went to a joint survey of the territory. It was observed that during the 11 years since the restoration of the hydrological regime, the previously functioning relatively deep and wide drainage ditches have been filled with water, and bog-moss Sphagnum cuspidatum has started to grow in them. As the groundwater level rises in and near the ditches, the trees and bushes are beginning to die out, replaced by denser vegetation - cranberry Oxycoccus palustris, marsh labrador tea Ledum palustre, cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum and bog-mosses Sphagnum spp. Not only the sides of the ditches, but also the place of the First World War war road, which was later used as a winter road by locals to cross the mire to NW direction, is now overgrown with bog plants. Slowly but surely, the disturbances caused by human activity are gradually disappearing under the now restored nature of the raised bog. 

You can find out more information about Rožu Mire: 

The book “Raised bog management for biological diversity conservation in Latvia”;

The booklet

The website of EC LIFE project “Raised Bogs”.

Photo: M. Pakalne, D. Nemme, A. Slišāns

To characterize plant species communities, in the LIFE PeatCarbon project areas in Latvia, monitoring plots have been established in the 2023 vegetation season. Monitoring was carried out between July and October, the number of plots as follows: 33 in Lielais Pelečāre Mire, 29 in Cena Mire, 9 in Melnais Lake Mire and 20 in Sudas-Zviedru Mire.

Monitoring is carried out to observe the state of the raised bogs before and after the stabilization of the hydrological level. The restoration of the mire ecosystem is usually a long-term process, observations can include various interrelated indicators – suitable physical and nutrient conditions, species communities, diversity and functionality of topographical structures of the peatland etc. Peatland restoration process is influenced not only by the hydrological conditions, but also by the peat and water quality.

In Latvia, in various studies traditionally plant species listing, and projective coverage assessment is used in sample plots of a certain size, located in groups or transects. In the project, the choice of the location of the sample plots is based on the place of restoration activities along the previously blocked or planned ditches and at different distances from them, as well as related to the locations of hydrological regime monitoring and greenhouse gas measurement points. The size, number, length and number of transects varies and is site specific. In the project, in each 1*1 m or Ø 50 cm circular sample plot, an inventory of all detected species was carried out and their projective coverage was assessed by levels: bryophytes and lichens (E0); herbaceous plants (E1); shrubs (50 cm – 5 m) (E2); low shrubs (Ezk); trees (trees higher than 5 m) (E3). Additional notes indicate the presence of dead trees, litter, open water or open peat soil area, signs of burning, etc.

In the three of four project areas, vegetation monitoring was carried out earlier, when the hydrological regime was restored 17, 11 and 6 years ago, i.e. 32 permanent plots were established in Cena Mire in 2005 and restoration measures were carried out in the winter of 2006; 33 sample plots were described in the Melnais Lake Mire in 2011 and dams were established in 2012; in 2016, 60 sample plots were established in the Sudas-Zviedru Mire, and restoration measures were implemented in the winter of 2017. Part of the old sample plots were re-surveyed this year as well, in order to observe the changes in the species composition after the restoration of the hydrological regime.

By following the area occupied by "indicator species" in the sample plots over several years, it is possible to predict the success of vegetation regeneration after the stabilization of the hydrological regime. As shown by the results of studies carried out previously in Latvia and elsewhere, already in the next active vegetation season, after the stabilization of the water level, bog-mosses begin to grow into the drainage ditches, mainly the Sphagnum cuspidatum and S. riparium, if they were also present in the area before and the newly created

environmental conditions for species diasporas are favourable to spread. On the other hand, in the restored area around the ditches 5-10 m and at a greater distance, the surface of the peat becomes wet gradually and changes in vegetation take place much more slowly, only over the course of several years. The main indicators used in the raised bogs to evaluate the success of restoration are Calluna vulgaris (increased die-off is expected), increase in the area of Sphagnum species forming cushions (mainly Sphagnum medium and S. fuscum), increase in the area of depression species (species from the S. recurvum group, as well as the S. tenellum), a significant increase in the area of the Rhynchospora alba. The introduction of species such as Phragmites australis and Molinia caerulea indicates unfavourable conditions for the bog.

All plots will be re-surveyed after the restoration measures have been carried out, as well as near the end of the project in 2026.

In the Cena Mire and Melnais Lake Mire in October, in parallel with vegetation monitoring, plant communities were characterized in 33 and 39 sample plots, respectively, in order to calculate the indirect greenhouse gas emissions using the so-called GEST methodology. The project activity is implemented in cooperation between the University of Latvia and the Institute of Environmental Solutions.

Photo: Līga Strazdiņa, Māra Pakalne

On October 6, 2023 LIFE PeatCarbon project sustainability manager Igors Semjonovs, EthnoExpert, moderated the main stage panel discussion on “DIGITALISATION AS A PATH FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE” within the RIGA COMM 2023 – major business tech event in Latvia. 

This year 2584 technology and business professionals from 30 countries met at the RIGA COMM 2023 in order to discover the latest business technology trends, discuss new partnerships, and network with industry experts. A record number of speakers - 215 experts from 18 countries shared their know-how and experience.  

The panel discussion on “DIGITALISATION AS A PATH FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE” gathered high-level executives and professionals from different areas of expertise. Financial industry was represented by Irina Kuzmina, Head of Sustainability Area, Baltic Banking Corporate Segment Management, Swedbank. Ove Muuk, Partner at global custom software development and consulting Helmes Group and Andrejs Mlijevskis, Business Development Manager at European Manufacturer of Solar Panels and Batteries SoliTek, shared insights from hi-tech innovations and IT market. Anete Garoza, Co-Founder & Chief Climate Officer at 1MTN, a high-quality nature-based carbon removal project developer in Africa, expressed climate consultancy vision. Dainis Jakovels, Leading Researcher at Institute for Environmental Solutions, spoken on mainstreaming academic knowledge into business practice. 

This set of experts allowed good discussion on sustainability issues with an outlook from the major stakeholder groups. Finding shared values and vision among these groups throughout the discussion simulated the successful partnership model for sustainable climate solutions with the use of new technologies.  

Currently the world is facing a boom in digitalization that is driving transformative change. In relation to that the discussion developed around the questions on how to bring to the market the technological innovations for the sustainable future and what are the prospects for the creation of added value projects for the protection of natural environment, climate change mitigation and community development. 

LIFE PeatCarbon project was showcased as one of the real projects with ground actions that could serve as a guide for the newcomers. Igors Semjonovs, EthnoExpert, and Dainis Jakovels, Institute for Environmental Solutions, presented innovative technologies that are planned to be developed within the LIFE PeatCarbon project, in particular the tool for application of replicable and transferable remote sensing (RS) based monitoring and modeling tools for GHG assessments and inventories as well as for applying replicable and transferable indicators for the evaluation of peatland restoration success. 

The participation in RIGA COMM 2023 allowed LIFE PeatCarbon project to establish new connections within the business community, forming good prospective for the transferability and upscale of project results.  

RIGA COMM is an annual business and IT event whose guests can learn more about the latest technologies and tools for business development and digitisation. In addition to the conferences, the event brings together business resource management, document management, human resources management and security system developers and distributors, cloud, internet and digital marketing service providers, developers of web solutions and mobile apps, as well as manufacturers of ICT products, for them to offer ready-made and custom solutions to companies of different sizes operating in various fields, as well as municipal entities and organisations, in order to boost their efficiency.

The 10th World Conference on Ecological Restoration (SER2023) was held from September 26-30, 2023 in Darwin, Northern Australia and included 1000 participants from 80 countries representing a range of backgrounds including natural and social sciences, environmental engineering, urban and regional planning, public policy, landscape architecture and natural resource management. Conference was organised by the Society of Ecological restoration.

SER’s World Conference was the premier meeting point for professionals and students interested in ecological restoration and management. The Conference Programme included presentations from all over the world and were devoted to ecosystem restoration that is the process of assisting the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. Presentations provided a platform for knowledge exchange, discussion, and engagement on the latest trends in restoration science, practice, and policy, as well as specific tools, techniques, challenges, and strategies for restoring damaged and degraded ecosystems on all continents. Conference included a film festival devoted to ecological restoration projects at diverse scales, from backyard projects to large scale restoration sites.

Conference sessions were devoted to diverse ecosystems, like wetlands that also include peatlands. Experts from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Norway and other countries presented wetland studies and restoration results. LIFE PeatCarbon project was represented by the project manager Dr. Māra Pakalne with a presentation “Peatland restoration for climate change mitigation”. More about the conference programme in the web page.

Field trips were one of the highlights of SER’s global conference. They focused on ecological restoration projects concerning wetlands, urban rainforests, community-led and tourism-restoration. Casuarina Coastal Reserve is Darwin’s urban reserve comprising rainforest, mangrove, paperback swamp, savanna woodland, and coastal dune habitats where restoration was carried out. On the other hand, Litchfield National Park is home to stunning waterfalls that cascade into crystal clear pools surrounded by monsoonal vine forests, iconic magnetic termite mounds.

On October 9, 2023 photo exhibition "In the peatlands from -30°C to +30°C plants, animals and researchers” in Ligatne Culture House was opened. It was prepared withing the European Commission LIFE project "Wetlands”.   

The European Commission co-funded LIFE project LIFE "Wetlands" and LIFE "PeatCarbon" have a common project site - Sudas-Zviedru Mire in the Gauja Nacional Park. In this especially protected nature area, vegetation and hydrological monitoring will be continued that started within LIFE “Wetlands” project. It will allow to follow the peatland vegetation regeneration after raising of the water table in the drainage influenced raised bog areas. 

The exhibition includes photos of 22 authors showing peatland landscapes, plant and animal species, as well the field work of the peatland experts. There are photos both from the flight of a bird, giving an overview to Sudas-Zviedru Mire with a complex of raised bog pools and hollows, as well as a closer look to peatland micro-habitats up to plant macro-photos. All the seasons are revealed in the photos – summer, winter, spring and autumn. The brochures "Wetlands in the Gauja National Park" are also available at the exhibition. 

Exhibition will be open until November 3. 

Photo: Pēteris Āboliņš and Diāna Nemme 

From 19th to 21st of September 2023, the European Peatland Conference "Power to the Peatlands", also called European Peatland Symposium took place in Antwerp, Belgium. The conference was organized by Natuurpunt, University of Antwerp and the partners of Interreg Care-Peat and ADMIRE projects, in cooperation with the European chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration, International Mire Conservation Group and Wetlands International. Over 500 peatland enthusiasts attended the conference and gave 160 oral and 80 poster presentations including prsentation of LIFE PeatCarbon project members Sari Juutinen, from FMI (Monitoring the effects of Peatland restoration on Greenhouse gas exchange in two forestry drained fens in northern Finland), Aino Korrensalo from LUKE (Peat respiration in drained peatland forests under varying tree harvest regimes), Leticia Jurema from NABU (Supporting evidence - based policy development through open data portals) and Pēteris Āboliņš from the University of Latvia (Peatland restoration for climate change mitigation).

Several sessions and workshops were held during the two-day meeting focusing on scientific, political and management aspects of peatland restoration as well as conservation. The keynote talks revealed the change in attitudes; wetlands are no longer seen as worthless wasteland, but as valuable ecosystems with multiple values including biodiversity and climate change mitigation potential. The keynote talks also stressed the need for deeper co-operation between the researchers, local communities in the proximity of peatlands and decision makers. Paludifair was a showcase for paludiculture products, for example, boards and insulation materials made from wetland grasses. During the third meeting day, several field trip options offered possibilities to visit pristine and rewetted wetland sites and a paludiculture site. These included a rewetted site by Collse Watermill in Eindhoven, which appears in a painting by Vincent van Gogh from year 1884.

Photo: Zane Sporāne

On September 29, 2023, LIFE PeatCarbon project senior expert Līga Strazdiņa and public relations specialist Diāna Nemme participated in the "Reserchers Night" organized by the University of Latvia (UL) in the “House of Nature" of the UL. Lauma Ķeire, representative of the UL Botanical Garden, head of the Botany laboratory, also joined the project team. 

The event "Reserchers Night" in Latvia takes place every year on the last Friday of September during the event "European Researchers' Night" initiated by the European Commission. It’s purpose is to bring scientific research closer to society, promoting especially young people's interest in science and it’s role in human daily life. You can find out more about the "Night of Scientists" program here.  

The visitors of "Reserchers Night" were introduced to the LIFE PeatCarbon project, importance of protection and restoration of mires, as well as the plants collected in Melnais Lake Nature Reserve, like Oxycoccus palustris, Drosera rotundifolia, Ledum plaustre, Lycopodium clavatum, Eriophorum vaginatum  Films about mire restoration projects were shown at the venue. 

Sphagnum mosses were especially highlighted. These are  perennial mosses with tufted branches and a slender trunk, which gradually dies at the bottom, thus forming peat. Thanks to the unique cell structure of the leaf, Sphagnum moss is able to absorb a large amount of water, thus maintaining a stable hydrological regime in waterlogged areas and developing mires. Visitors could look at the moss with a microscope, determine for themselves how much water Sphagnum can hold in itself, as well as compare the morphological differences of species growing in different environments. The most questions from the visitors were about the reproduction of Sphagnum and the biggest surprise was the slow growth of Sphagnum and the fact that mosses do not have roots. 

After the event plants and mosses that were demonstrated to the visitors during the "Researchers Night”,  would be transported to the UL Botanical Garden in the experimental plant exposition . In the LIFE PeatCarbon project, a new mire exposition will be established. Gardeners are already starting to learn the skills of transplanting and maintaining plant species in artificial conditions. 

Photo: Diāna Nemme, Lauma Ķeire

On September 6, 2023 representatatives from LIFE PeatCarbon project beneficiaries FMI and LUKE communicated with national GHG inventory makers in Finland at a seminar held in Helsinki. There we together reviewed the methodology and implementation of the national inventory by inventory compilers at Statistics Finland and LUKE, and how the different modeling approaches at FMI relate to the national greenhouse gas (GHG ) inventories in search for synergies and collaboration. 

The collaboration with inventory makers has already led to co-authored scientific article (Tenkanen et al., 2024, www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/16/1/124) where modeling tools in use at LIFE PeatCarbon project together with atmospheric observation-based approaches were used to assess the natural and land use change - related methane emissions and compared to national inventory of Finland. It was found that forests with thin tree cover surrounding open peatlands may be a significant source of methane (CH4). Unlike pristine peatlands, the surrounding transient forests are included in the Finnish GHG inventory if the stand density is high enough to meet the criteria used for forest land. The current Finnish national GHG inventory may therefore underestimate CH4 emissions from forested organic soils surrounding open peatlands, although more analysis and data are needed to verify this. Therefore it is also very important to develop and calibrate the ecosystem process models to better simulate greenhouse gas budgets of transient peatland forests. 

The data collected is being analysed by the researchers during the current cold 2023 – 2024 winter season with thick snow cover protecting the peatland ecosystems from the cold winter temperatures. In 2024, the restoration work will begin at Matorovansuo in late winter or early spring, when freezing temperatures will provide good conditions for the practical restoration work, which will start with harvesting a proportion of the trees to initiate the return of the peatland ecosystem to pristine conditions. 

Photo: Sari Juutinen, public photo

Mire ecosystems are highly valuable for plant and animal species and play a vital role in the biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and climate regulation. On September 4, 2023, thinking about the protection and management of mires, meeting with representatives of  "Rīga forests" and LIFE PeatCarbon project was held. In total 12 participants took part in the meeting. On September 7 another meeting was took place with the representatives of JSC "Latvijas valsts meži", with the total of 18 participants. The meetings were dedicated to the planned LIFE project activities in Cena Mire and Lielais  Pelečāre Mire. Dr. biol. Līga Strazdiņa, the mire expert from University of Latvia told the development Hydrology Restoration Plans Cena Mire and  Lielais Pelečāre Mire. In the presentations the importance of these mires for scientific research,  long-term hydrological  and vegetation was emphasized, being unique for Latvia. It was stressed that nature values, like habitats of EU importance, rare and protected plant species, give the national and internationla value for the sites. Still, the sites, have the drainage influence which must be stopped by the LIFE PeatCarbon project restoration activities.  Dr. geol. Andis Kalvāns, a geologist from the University of Latvia told about the planned hydrological regime restoration and monitoring measures for the Cena and  Lielais Pelečāre Mires. Finally, Uldis Bethers, an expert in modeling from the University of Latvia, presented the progress of the development of the hydrogeological model for the Cena Mire, but Andis Kalvāns told about the results of the modeling for Lielais Pelečāre Mire. 

The presentations were followed by the discussion about the LIFE project planned activities in the project sites, impact on the surrounding areas, including agricultural lands, forests, as well as urban areas. Risks and benefits from mire restoration were mentioned as well as future cooperation  between LIFE PeatCarbon project experts and stakeholders. 

After the meeting, which was dedicated to the Lielais Pelečāre Mire, the project experts went to the vegeation, hydrology and greenhouse has monitoring area that includes both: intact part of the mire as well as drainage influenced where mire restoration activities are planned.  

Photo: Māra Pakalne, Diāna Nemme, Līga Strazdiņa

In June 2023 specialists of the Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Latvia installed the first 8 water level monitoring wells. From these 5 are already equipped with automated water level probes with measurement frequency once per hour. Both natural raised bog with little disturbance by drainage and bog heavily disturbed by drainage are included in the monitoring program. One discharge measurement site was installed as well that will provide data of the runoff from the mire. Analysis of the seasonal water level and runoff fluctuations before and after implementation of the natural hydrological regime restoration measures will provide a measure of the success of the restoration.

At this stage of investigation monitoring sites were installed at the part of the Cena Mire where natural hydrological regime will be restored during the LIFE PeatCarbon project. Later in 2023 additional water level monitoring points will be set up in mire areas where the natural hydrological regime was restored during the LIFE MIRES project (LIFE04 NAT/LV/000196) in

2007. These observations, in combination with vegetation monitoring will provide data about the success of earlier restoration works and guidance for planning future renaturalization projects of the degraded peatlands.

Water level observations will be a crucial data source for the calibration of the hydrogeological model of the Cena Mire. Model calibration is a process of adjusting model parameters such as the filtration properties of sediments so that modelled water levels match the observations as good as possible. The hydrological model is elaborated by the experts at Institute of the Numerical Modelling, University of Latvia.

Water table depth is one of the crucial factors determining the evolution of the wetland ecosystem and emission of the greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) form the peat soil. The aim of the restoration of the natural hydrological regime is to prevent peat decomposition that is enabled by the drainage system that was build during 20th century. Restoration of natural hydrological regime will facilitate recovery of the wetland ecosystem and renewal of carbon sequestration by peat formation. Thus, the project will help reaching EU and Latvian climate-neutrality targets.

Photo: Andis Kalvāns, Māra Pakalne

In June 2023 during two-day expedition specialists of the Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Latvia installed the first 16 water level monitoring wells in the especially protected nature area Lielais Pelečāres Mire. From them 14 are already equipped with water level measuring probes for hourly recordings. The observations include a site for discharge measurement of the river Melnupīte as well as the water table of the Deguma Lake within this raised bog. It is planed that additional 20 water level measurement sites will be installed latter in 2023.

Historically several drainage systems were built in the Lielais Pelečāre Mire. For example, at least three ditches from different sides reach into Deguma Lake. From these, presently active is only one – Ezera ditch – that probably is a straightened and deepened natural watercourse.

The attempts to drain the Lielais Pelečaŗs Mire were terminated in 1970-ties when it was declared as a Cranberry reserve. However, the negative impact of drainage systems is felt up to present. Drainage ditches enable fast evacuation of the precipitation water from the raised bog facilitating the decomposition of the peat deposits accumulated in geological past, disappearance of raised bog vegetation and afforestation of the territory. During the project LIFE PeatCarbon measures will be implemented to restore the moisture regime characteristic for raised bogs. That will interrupt the decomposition of the peat and release of the greenhouse gases from drained bog territories. After stabilizing of water level, the natural raised bog vegetation will regrow, enabling renewed peat accumulation and long-term carbon sequestration. Thus, the project will help reaching the climate-neutrality targets of the EU and Latvia.

Photo: Andis Kalvāns, Māra Pakalne

World Peatlands Day is celebrated on the 2nd of June each year. Launched by the International Peatland Society (IPS) in the autumn of 2019, the day aims to highlight the crucial ecosystem functions of peatlands. To celebrate the day, we put together a selection of images from our project site in Latvia. We want to showcase that peatlands are not just incredible carbon stores, water management systems, and habitats - they also inhibit a beauty that is hard to deny. As such, peatlands are places of rest and restoration for humans and animals alike. 

So, we invite you to take a moment and have a look at the peatland images below. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a peatland close to you? In this case, we hope to inspire you to visit it the next time you need a rest. 

Photo: Māra Pakalne

The summer monitoring season started in Pallas region, Finland on the 23rd May, 2023. The snow finally melted a week previously and the first green shoots are now visible on the mires. The landscape is exceptionally wet this spring as evidenced by the historic flooding in the nearby Tornio River valley. In areas of the mires less affected by drainage the ground is impassable even with rubber boots. However in the drained areas of the mires, the ditches are full of running water and have drained the landscape much more quickly, which emphasises the affect the drainage continues to have on the mire ecology. 

The restoration action on Välisuo and Matorovansuo Mires is due to happen during the following winter and will involve blocking and filling these drainage ditches. Monitoring efforts from this year are particularly important and represent a pre-restoration baseline, against which we can assess the effect of the restoration on the ecology, hydrology and greenhouse gas emissions. The season started with checking and adjusting the measurement sites, which were established late last summer. Project expert Inka Mella conducted the first round of greenhouse gas measurements of the season at Välisuo and Matorovansuo Mires and collected water samples for further analysis. The first moss brushes were also installed which are used as a way to assess the growth rates of Sphagnum mosses. Sphagnum plays an important role in carbon sequestration on mires. 

Photos: Inka Mella and Jack Chapman 


From May 21-25, 2023 the 31st Conference of Europan Vegetation Survey (EVS) took place in Rome, Italy where the LIFE PeatCarbon project was represented by the project manager Māra Pakalne. More information available on the conference web page . At the conference not only European countries were represented, but also USA and Japan.

During the poster session interesting discussions were held on peatland studies, conservation, restoratation and monitoring with peatland experts from Ukraine, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania and other countries, and included also discussion on cooperation in remote sensing of peatland vegetation.

EVS Conference presentations on the vegetation change in the climate change context are important for the implementtaion of LIFE PeatCarbon project tasks. It was stressed that repeated and comparitive vegetation studies, as well as vegetation monitoring is of high importance. Conference programme and Book of Abstracts is available here .

At the end of the Conference during the excursion it was possible to get to know more about the Italian nature – oak forests, streams, springs and waterfalls. Near the springs was found an especially rare species in Latvia – Equisetum telmatea.

Photo: Lauma Ķeire, Māra Pakalne

The role of peatlands as a carbon source becomes more important if we think about the climate change mitigation measures in many European countries and outside its borders.

The international conference organised in London on May 17, 2023 proves it. Peatland experts from United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Indonasia, Kongo, Kenya and Peru took part in it to discuss these questions. Latvia was represented by Māra Pakalne telling about LIFE PeatCarbon project and its objectives. The many discussions showed the importance of further peatland research, conservation and management and sharing knowledge on peatlands to wider audience.

Photo: Māra Pakalne

On May 15, 2023 the EU LIFE Programme, Climate subprogramme project "Peatland restoration for greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration in the Baltic Sea region"  meeting was held among the representatives from Mārupe Municipality, LIFE PeatCarbon staff and the project beneficiaries.  In total, there were 17 participants. 

At the start of the meeting, LIFE PeatCarbon project manager Māra Pakalne talked about the LIFE PeatCarbon project and project activities in Cena Mire Nature Reserve. After that, Andis Kalvāns, a geologist from the University of Latvia, shared the results on hydrogeological studies in the Cena Mire. At the end, LIFE PeatCarbon project beneficiary representative Igors Semjonovs from EthnoExpert gave a presentation "Public involvement in the implementation of life peatcarbon project activities". 

During the meeting, as well as in its final part, discussions were held between all parties on permanent observations, methods and results of raised bog management, cooperation opportunities, as well project tasks in the Cena Mire to be implemented. 

Photo: Diāna Nemme 

At present in the world the issue of climate change is becoming more and more pressing, and with it the role of mires in mitigating these changes increases. To address these issues, a meeting organised by the European Commission was held in Berlin from 26th to 28th of Aprill, 2023 to adress questions related to the protection and management of peatlands. LIFE PeatCarbon project manager Māra Pakalne and public relations specialist Diāna Nemme participated in the meeting. 

The European Union is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gases from degraded peatlands. About 7% of all EU emissions come from drained peatlands used for agriculture and forestry.    

On the first day of the meeting, the project manager Māra Pakalne gave a presentation on the LIFE PeatCarbon project. A total of 23 LIFE and 2 Interreg projects were represented at the meeting, with more than 85 participants in person, around 200 participants in absentia, from more than 16 European countries. The first day of the meeting included presentations by European Commission experts and LIFE projects, which provided important information on peatland conservation tasks and results. You can watch the full recording here .

On the second day of the meeting, the participants of the meeting tool part in various working groups on "Restoration of peatland habitats", "Peatlands, land use and Carbon sequestration", “Peatland restoration and climate change mitigation", "Peatland restoration in EU and national policies, financing peatland restoration", which ran in parallel throughout the day in four different premises. Those who were interested could find out about the LIFE projects represented by the participants. Life PeatCarbon project manager Māra Pakalne and public relations specialist Diāna Nemme also introduced interested parties to the LIFE PeatCarbon project, its tasks and events. Important contacts were established for further cooperation with Danish colleagues. 

On the third day, all participants went on an excursion to the Barnim Nature Park in the vicinity of Bizental, where they were introduced with the methods and experiences of restoring peatlands in the LIFE Peat Restore project. 

Photo: Diāna Nemme

On 12 and 19 April, 2023 experts from University of Latvia, Institute of Environmental Solutions, SIA "AGS sistēmas" and the Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava" in the frame of the European Commission LIFE Programme project "Peatland restoration for greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration in the Baltic Sea region", participated in the scientific expedition to three project sites in Latvia - Cena Mire, Melnais Lake Mire and Sudas-Zviedru Mire.

In consultation with each other and considering all the circumstances in every site the experts marked 3 monitoring points where greenhouse gas (GHG) emission measurements are planned as well as water level measurements and vegetation monitoring will be carried out. Similarly, like in the other project sites, the aim is to asses the situation before and after the restoration of the site hydrological regime.

Photo: Diāna Nemme

On 4 and 5 April, 2023 in the frame of the European Commission LIFE Programme project “Peatland restoration for greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration in the Baltic Sea region", experts from the University of Latvia, the Institute of Environmental Solutions, SIA “AGS sistēmas” and the Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava" participated in the scientific expedition to two project sites in Latvia - Lielais Pelečāre Mire and Cena Mire. 

Despite the thaw and flooded parts of the mires, after careful consideration of all conditions, the experts marked in the sites 6 monitoring points where greenhouse gas (GHG) emission measurements are planned, as well as water level measurement and vegetation monitoring will be carried out. The aim is to assess the situation before and after the restoration of the site hydrological regime.    

In addition to the GHG emission measurement points, 48 permanent water level measurement points will be located in the two project sites. The observation data will characterise the changes in the water regime following restoration work in parts of the raised bogs with different vegetation, topography and geology. Vegetation monitoring plots will be established to assess the changes in the composition of plant species in the intact part of the raised bog as well as in the drainage affected and restored areas. Plants are one of the first indicators that respond to changes in the hydrological status of the site. Therefore, vegetation studies will help to characterise the intensity of drainage effect and also the success of restoration work. 

The data obtained will also be used to develop Peatland Hydrology Restoration Plans for Cena Mire amd Lielais Pelečāre Mire, as well as to verify the remote sensing-based GHG assessment method, and to prepare hydro-geological model and  ecosystem model for the project sites. 

Photo: Rūta Abaja, Diāna Nemme

The LIFE PeatCarbon project monitoring calibration meeting took place in Helsinki on 28-30 March 2023. The meeting brought together participants from Latvia, Germany, Denmark and Finland to discuss the peatland monitoring methodologies, their synergies and harmonization in Latvia and Finland. The experts in greenhouse gas, vegetation, remote sensing and hydrology monitoring discussed lively in an excellent, warm and friendly atmosphere during the three days and took many steps forward in describing the common best practices related to field observations and their analysis.  

On the last day of the meeting the participants visited the Tervalamminsuo and Lettosuo site field measurement sites in Southwestern Finland, where some of the oldest and deepest peatlands in Finland occur. The undrained Tervalamminsuo site allowed the participants to explore vegetation typical to boreal nutrient poor bog and learn about its greenhouse gas exchange, measured by the micrometeorological eddy covariance and chamber methods. The wet nutrient rich spruce dominated margins of the peatland complex were restored more than 15 years ago and showed us the development of the vegetation after restoration. 

The participants also visited Lettosuo, field experiment on forestry-drained spruce-dominated peatland where different management options, including continuous cover forestry and their impact on greenhouse gas fluxes and carbon pools have been measured since 2009. Continuous cover forestry, which creates an uneven-aged tree stand structure and attenuates water table fluctuations, is now intensively studied as a more sustainable alternative to current drainage and clear-cut practices. 

Photo: Māra Pakalne, Tuula Aalto

In the frame of the European Commission LIFE Programme project “Peatland restoration for greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration in the Baltic Sea region" on February 28, 2023 at. 11:30 an online LIFE PeatCarbon project meeting of the project Scientific Group was held. where 26 participants from 13 organisations took part. The meeting was opened by LIFE PeatCarbon project manager Dr. Māra Pakalne. Firstly, the floor was given to Hannu Marttila from Oulu University who gave a presentation under the title “Sharing expertise on hydrogeological studies and modeling in Finland”. The next speaker was Sari Juutinen from Finnish Meteorologica Institute with a presentation “Greenhouse gas emission monitoring in Finland”. AfterwardsnAndis Lazdiņš from Forest Research Institute “Silava” shared his “Experience on greenhouse gas emission monitoring in Latvia”. The next speaker was Andis   Kalvāns, geologist from the University of Latvia with a presentation together with Aija Dēliņa and Konrāds Popovs  “Peatland hydrogeological studies in Latvia”. After that Uldis Bethers, an expert in modeling from University of Latvia together with his colleagues Andrejs Timuhins and Juris Seņņikovs introduced with “Hydrogeological modeling of peatland ecosystems in Latvia”. The final presentation was given by Rūta Abaja and Dainis Jakovels from the Institute of Environmental solutions  “Sharing expertise on remote sensing”.  

At the end of the meeting there was a discussion part concerning the themes of the presentations.  


Photo: Māra Pakalne, Diāna Nemme

On February 28, 2023 at 10.00 o'clock in the frame of the European Commission LIFE Climate Programme project “Peatland restoration for greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration in the Baltic Sea region" the first online Steering Group meeting was organized where 31 participants from 16 organizations took part.  

At the start of the meeting the LIFE PeatCarbon project manager Dr. Māra Pakalne gave an overview about “Progress on LIFE PeatCarbon project activities in Latvia”. After that the floor was given to Dr. Tuula Alto, the national coordinator for Finland from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, with the presentation “Progress on LIFE PeatCarbon project activities in Finland”. The next speaker was Leticia Jurema from NABU with a presentation “Project communication activities”. The final talk was the one by Santu Kareksela (Metsähallitus) on  “Peatland restoration in Finland: describing existing restoration areas, choice of future areas, restoration method development, follow-up of success”  

At the end of the meeting there were discussed the actula problems of the project.  

Photo: Diāna Nemme

On February 20, 2023 the EU LIFE Programme, Climate subprogramme project "Peatland restoration for greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration in the Baltic Sea region"  meeting was held among the representatives from  JSC "Latvia's State Forests", LIFE PeatCarbon staff and the project beneficiaries. A total of 16 participants took part, including the online participants.

The meeting was opened by Laila Šica JSC "Latvia's State Forests".  After that the floor was given to Māra Pakalne,  the manager of LIFE PeatCarbon project  giving an overview about the project tasks in Lielais Pelečāre Mire Nature Reserve.  Next presentation was given by project geologist Andis Kalvāns who informed about the hydrogeological studies in Lielais Pelečāre Nature Reserve, carried out together with Aija Dēliņa and Konrāds Popovs. After that Uldis Bether, modeling expert from University of Latvia told aboyt the results of hydrogeological modeling in Lielais Pelečāre Mire  (Uldis Bethers, Andrejs Timuhins, Juris Seņņikovs). The final presentation was by Igors Sejonovs representing the project beneficiary EthnoExpert telling about "Public involvement in the implementation of LIFE PeatCarbon project actions".  The presentations were followed by questions from the representatives from JSC "Latvia's State Forests", especially about development of Hydrology Restortaion Plan for Lielais Pelečāre Mire and the modeling results.

Photo: Diāna Nemme

On February 14, 2023 the EU LIFE Programme, Climate subprogramme project "Peatland restoration for greenhouse gas emission reduction and carbon sequestration in the Baltic Sea region"  meeting was held among the representatives from  "Riga forests", LIFE PeatCarbon staff and the project beneficiaries. A total of 14 participants participated.

The meeting was opened with the presentation of LIFE PeatCarbon project manager Māra Pakalne giving an overviiew about the project tasks in two project sites - Cena and Melnais Lake Mire. After that the floor was given to the project geologist Andis Kalvāns who informed about the hydrogeological studies in Cena Mire Nature Reserve. The next presentation was given by University of Latvia expert in modeling Uldis Bethers who informed the meeting participnats  about the "Development of hydrogeological model for Cena Mire (Uldis Bethers, Andrejs Timuhins, Juris Seņņikovs). The final presentation was by Igors Sejonovs representing the project beneficiary EthnoExpert telling about "Public involvement in the implementation of LIFE PeatCarbon project actions". Presentations were followed by lively discussions, including the cooperation within the LIFE project, including the tasks in Cena and Melnais Lake Mires.

Photo: Diāna Nemme

On February 8, 2023, the 81st University of Latvia Scientific Conference took place. The LIFE PeatCarbon project manager Dr.biol. Māra Pakalne presented a paper under title "Peatland studies and conservation for the climate change mitigation"  (Māra Pakalne, Andis Kalvāns, Aija Dēliņa, Konrāds Popovs) and introduced the conference participants with the research carried out from the start of the project emphasizing the studies in Cena Mire and Lielais Pelečāre Mire Nature Reserves.

Photo: Diāna Nemme


From February 2 to 3, 2023 in the frame of LIFE PeatCarbon project experts from University of Latvia and a representative from project beneficiary “AGS systems” participated in the field research expedition to Lielais Pelečāre Mire that is an especially protected nature area in Latvia and one of the project sites. Despite the snow cover in the peatland and partly flooded areas, field work was carried out. Drainage systems influencing this peatland ecosystem were studied. Aim of the trip was to determine the precise location of the peatland restoration area, where the site hydrological regime will be stabilized as well as hydrological, vegetation and greenhouse gas emission monitoring area. The condition of the drainage ditches was determined (lengths, width and the bottom). Studies were carried out in the NW and SW parts of Lielais Pelečāre Mire.


Photo: Diāna Nemme


On January 31, 2023 in Ogre technical school, photo exhibition "In the peatlands from -30°C to +30°C plants, animals and researchers” was opened. It was prepared withing the European Commission LIFE project "Wetlands”. It is close to the time when on February 2, World Wetlands Day is celebrated. The European Commission co-funded LIFE project LIFE "Wetlands" and LIFE "PeatCarbon" have a common project site - Sudas-Zviedru Mire in the Gauja Nacional Park. In this especially protected nature area, vegetation and hydrological monitoring will be continued that started within LIFE “Wetlands” project. It will allow to follow the peatland vegetation regeneration after raising of the water table in the drainage influenced raised bog areas.

The exhibition includes photos of 22 authors showing peatland landscapes, plant and animal species, as well the field work of the peatland experts. There are photos both from the flight of a bird, giving an overview to Sudas-Zviedru Mire with a complex of raised bog pools and hollows, as well as a closer look to peatland micro-habitats up to plant macro-photos. All the seasons are revealed in the photos – summer, winter, spring and autumn.

The LIFE project publications at the library of the school – booklets and books will be used in the teaching process both in Latvian and English. Exhibition will be open until February 27.


Photo: Māra Pakalne and Diāna Nemme

In autumn 2022 experts from the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) established the greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring sites in the Finnish project sites Matorovansuo and Välisuo peatlands. To ease access to the bog and prevent higher levels of destruction of the vegetation, boardwalks were established and placed at the planned GHG monitoring sites. After the placement of the boardwalks, experts marked the GHG measurement points and equipped the areas with water table monitoring wells and data loggers for recording soil temperature and moisture. A local technician, Inka Mella, conducted the first measurements for the GHG flux monitoring program the same autumn. In December when snow started to accumulate monitoring points were sampled using the snow-gradient method. The snow-gradient method is when concentrations of CO2, CH4, and N2O from gas samples from the snowpack and the air above are determined along with measurement of snowpack density. Based on this information, diffusion of gases to the atmosphere can be estimated. These measurements will be continued on a monthly basis until the snow thaws in spring. 


On November 29th-30th, 2022, the University of Latvia hosted the LIFE PeatCarbon project kick-off meeting both in-person and online between all project partners and memebers from project site management organizations, with a total of 35 participants. It took place in Riga, on the top floor of the House of Science, University of Latvia, overlooking the Old Town. The aim of the event was to acquaint the project participants with one another, as well as with all the various aspects of the project, such as discussing different methodologies ad revieweing the Communication Strategy. As LIFE PeatCarbon, like any LIFE project, has a wide range of tasks, from communication to greenhouse gas emission monitoring, the exciting event was filled with presentations and discussion between project team members from completely different fields. Speakers from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), Forest research Institute “SILAVA”, Oulu University, the University of Latvia, Institute of Environmental Solutions and AGS Systems discussed the methodologies and technicalities of climate change mitigation in the peatlands in Latvia and Finland. This includes hydrological, vegetation and greenhouse gas emission monitoring, as well as the implementation of remote sensing and creation of the Ecosystem model. With so many different experts from various organizations and nations working together, it is important to come up with a strategy to establish good communication. A rough draft of the Communication Plan was already written up by the University of Latvia, which was discussed in the meeting. This is where Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) and EthnoExpert help to make sure communication between project participants and outside parties runs smoothly by coming up with a Communication Strategy outlining the guidelines for communication. Beyond internal aims of the project, Silkeborg Municipality, AMPHI International, along with NABU, the University of Latvia and EthnoExpert are working together to spread the results and lessons of the project to politicians, external experts and the public. This is not an easy task and will require great collaboration between project partners to execute successfully. Every stakeholder needs to be carefully considered and a firm approach established for each. This will include the collaboration with other LIFE projects and hosting round-table discussions. With so many aspects to consider, it is important for project participants to establish a strong network, which the LIFE PeatCarbon managed to do successfully. One and half days of intense discussion of next steps followed by a scenic walk in the beautiful Sudas-Zviedru Mire in the Gauja National Park that is a project site, people were motivated and inspired for the next steps. Check out our social media for more pictures from the event and find the event programme here


On November 23rd, 2022 the online meeting of Peatland Restoration and Management Working Group meeting took place. Various peatland experts from countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Latvia, and organizations, such as EUROSITE, participated in the meeting to share their experience. Peatland experts participated to represent their own projects, such as Interreg Care-Peat and LIFE Multi-Peat. Due to the degradation of bogs in the world by drainage, peat excavation and deforestation, the topic of peatland restoration and greenhouse gas emission reduction is incredibly important to consider in this day and age. During the meeting, participants shared their experience with peatland restoration and work with landowners. LIFE PeatCarbon’s manager, Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne, also participated in the meeting and shared her experience with peatland restoration in Latvia and with the Best Practice Book for Peatland Restoration and Climate Change Mitigation from one of her previous projects, LIFE PeatRestore. Māra also went on to talk about the LIFE PeatCarbon project and the development of the Ecosystem model. Her presentation can be found here


On the 14th of November, 2022, Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne spoke about berries found in raised bogs – such as cranberries and cloudberries – on the radio show “Zināmais nezināmajā”. Although raised bogs are typically associated with cranberries and cloudberries, in the transition area of the raised bogs bordering with the forest lingonberries and bog bilberries can also be found. Raised bogs may be nutrient-poor, but they are host to many other plant species than just berries. However, the hydrology of raised bogs are influenced by drainage ditches, causing species such as the cloudberry to become more rare. By stabilizing the hydrology, degraded bog areas can once again become a suited environment for bog vegetation, including berry species. Additionally, LIFE PeatCarbon decreases greenhouse gas emissions in project sites in Latvia and Finland, contributing to the fight against climate change as well as increasing the regenerative abilities of raised bogs. You can listen to the interview by clicking here


As the world changes, so does its biodiversity. Biodiversity can be described as all the different species found in one place, and is a crucial indicator for ecosystem health. Unfortunately, due to human activity causing habitat loss and climate change, the world is rapidly losing its biodiversity, putting a large emphasis on biodiversity research to map out these changes. Therefore, Daugavpils University within the LIFE For Species project on October 20-21, 2022 organized the 11th International Conference on Biodiversity Research with the aim of connecting researchers from all over the world to share their findings. A wide variety of topics were covered in the conference. Biodiversity loss and sustainability don’t just concern biology and chemistry, but all disciplines, such as politics and economics. For example, a study by Green Liberty (presented by Rolands Ratfelders) showed that nature restoration adds 8-38 euros in economic value for every 1 euro spent on the restoration efforts. A lot goes into such studies, with most of the topics presented having undergone years of research by teams of scientists and students. LIFE Peat Carbon’s project manager Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne and public awareness expert Keita Barisa participated in the conference with a poster. In addition Māra Pakalne had a presentation on the experience on peatland restoration in Latvia, touching on the development of different methodologies and dissemination processes over the years, as well as introducing her newly formed project, LIFE PeatCarbon. More about the event, including abstracts and presentations submitted by the participants can be found here

From the 4th to the 6th of October, 2022, LIFE Peat Carbon members along with other new LIFE project representatives took part in the European Commission’s LIFE 21 Climate Action Welcome Meeting. The goal of the meeting was to inform LIFE project participants of the chain of command, project requirements and other Climate Action projects being realized. Presentations led by experts from the European Commission detailed the requirements and monitoring of project publicity efforts, finances and action implementation. The final day of the meeting was dedicated to participant presentations about their newly established LIFE projects. Together, 30 projects were presented: seven in the Agriculture and Forestry group, eight in the Infrastructure group, nine in the Land and Sea Management group and six in the Energy group. LIFE PeatCarbon was placed under Land and Sea Management along with other similar projects, such as France’s LIFE RestituO, which also focuses on the peatland restoration as a means to reduce greenhouse gases. LIFE Peat Carbon’s project manager Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne presented about crucial planned actions of LIFE PeatCarbon, such as the establishment of the Ecosystem Model, as well as her experience in LIFE peatland restoration projects. The LIFE PeatCarbon presentation can be found here


(LV) LU Researchers' Night | 30.09.2022

On the 30th of September, we had the great pleasure of participating in the University of Latvia’s Researchers’ Night! This was a great opportunity to educate the public. The theme that night was "Peatland restoration to combat climate change: get aqcuainted with the plant kingdom, what peatland experts do and their experience in ecosystem restoration." After collecting samples in Melnais Lake Mire, in room 401 of the House of Science we set up small replicas of bog habitats so that we could show the curious minds in the room what makes bogs special and why we need to protect them. Keita Barisa and Māra Pakalne answered these questions, telling the audience about the necessity of peat as a carbon reserve and how peatland drainage accelerates climate change. A big thanks to all those who came to learn about our project! You can read more about Researchers’ Night here and find the programme here (only in Latvian). 

(LV) LIFE30 event | 29.09.2022

During this year, the LIFE Programme turned 30 years old! The LIFE Programme is a programme financed by the European Commission aiming to support the implementation of innovative and sustainable projects contributing to environmental protection and fighting climate change. On September 29th, CAP LIFE LAT organized a wonderful day in Mores parish and LIFE PEat Carbon for the first time officially presented itself at a LIFE event! The aim of the event was to inform participants of news regarding LIFE projects in Latvia and create a networking experience to promote knowledge exchange. The event started off with an excursion along Mergupe by LIFE GoodWater and the show-casing of LatViaNature’s new mobile classroom, after which LIFE PeatCarbon's project manager, Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne, got to present LIFE PeatCarbon! Participants got to network with other LIFE project members, share their experience and learn lots about the different LIFE projects being implemented in Latvia. To read more about the event press here (only available in Latvian).