Alpine peatlands and climate protection

Development of methods to derive climate protection potentials and creation of a network among actors for the implementation of climate protection measures

Background and objectives

Peatlands are especially important for biodiversity conservation, climate protection and water supply. As in other regions, those functions of Alpine peatlands are under strain due to increasing building activities, change and intensification of land use and climate change.

Hence, the overall objective of this project is to protect peatlands in the Alps. Thereby, we especially consider the climate protection potential of Alpine peatlands. This topic is very urgent, as in the light of climate neutrality goals, we should use all possibilities to develop a contribution of the biosphere to climate protection.

Picture: Sylvia Holzträger, HSWT
Picture: Sylvia Holzträger, HSWT

In the former projects "Alpenmoore" and "Impuls4Action" the existing data bases in the different countries were compiled and deficits for action were identified:

  • very different data situation on spatial data (e.g. extent and type of peatlands, vegetation, land use) and status data (e.g. water balance, degradation),
  • very different data situation on type and intensity of land use,
  • lack of networking and knowledge exchange especially for land management solutions that can contribute to climate change mitigation.
The current project “Alpine peatlands and climate protection” aims at closing the identified data gaps and deficits.
Picture: Sylvia Holzträger, HSWT
Picture: Sylvia Holzträger, HSWT

Approach

The project focuses on the following four modules:

  • Module 1: Development and testing of methods to fill the gaps in spatial and status data. The collected and generated (geo)data is the basis for an assessment of the climate effectiveness of peatlands - using selected transects as examples.
  • Module 2: Investigation of the possibilities of land use and management for peatland protection using the example of mountain pasture grazing in Alpine peatlands. In suitable regions, the type and intensity of grazing systems will be surveyed and the effect on the ecosystem assessed. This results will be combined with expert knowledge and stakeholder experience in the different alpine regions.  
  • Module 3: Establishment of a network of peatland actors in the Alpine region to ensure a long-term exchange to improve the implementation of climate protection measures.
  • Module 4: Development and testing of a methodology for the estimation of the climate protection potential through peatland protection measures.

First project publications and results

Reports of previous workshops

We have held three successful workshops to the topic "Grazing on high mountain peatlands" until now.

The reports are available for download now:

Workshop in English language for researchers - 07.12.2021: Workshop report (English)

Workshop in three languages for employees in authorities, conservation areas, NGOs, planning offices - 08.02.2022:

Report  in english

Rapport en francais

Rapporto in italiano 

Workshop in German language for employees in authorities, conservation areas, NGOs, planning offices - 28.04.2022: Workshop report (German) (... coming soon)




Project lead


Project execution

M.Sc. Sylvia Holzträger

Project participation

M.Sc. Elisabeth Schaber

External project participation

Dr. Angelika Abderhalden-Raba
Fundaziun Pro Terra Engiadina

Prof. Dr. Clemens Geitner
Universität Innsbruck

Prof. Dr. Stephan Glatzel
Universität Wien

Dr. Philippe Grosvernier
Professionnel Environnement REG A

Dr. Florian Siegert
Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH

Prof. Dr. Martin Rutzinger
Universität Innsbruck

Prof. Dr. Stefan Zerbe
Freie Universität Bozen

Project duration

2021-04-01 - 2022-12-31

Project partners

Project funding

Sustainable Development Goals

E web goal 13
E web goal 15