Minsk, Belarus – A major practical dimension of land restoration for many countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is the importance of peatlands for multilateral benefits, such as carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation. As part of a global assessment made in 2018, peatlands in CEE have been rated as the largest CO2 reservoir. At the same time, measures for restoration of peat bogs to increase carbon storage capacity can be 14 times cheaper than new technological developments for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere.
In the article published by WildLife.by, the UNCCD national focal point for Belarus Mr. Andrei Kuzmich explains the relevance of land restoration for his region. While Belarus is among countries where natural conditions exclude the development of desertification in its extreme forms, the problems of land degradation caused by water and wind erosion of the soil, mineralization of the organic matter in peat soils, technogenic land pollution, soil disturbance due to mining are all very relevant for many CEE countries, along with increase in the number droughts due to climate change.
The is why participation in the development of measures to protect and restore forests and peatlands as key resources in the fight against climate change, loss of biodiversity and land degradation will be of particular interest to Belarus and other CEE parties during the upcoming UNCCD COP14. “Our country is going to the conference with established national indicators of achieving land degradation neutrality, as well as political will to achieve them. We have already gained some practical experience in restoring degraded peatlands, and will be happy to share this experience with other countries who will be at COP14, ” said Mr. Kuzmich.