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Knowledge exchange – sharing LIFE in Finland

Date: 31 Oct 2018

The IUCN Peatland Programme was delighted to join Pennine PeatLIFE, UK and Hydrology LIFE, Finland on the return leg of their LIFE exchange programme.

Over the four days in Finland, new and unique peatland types to the UK representatives were explored across three National Parks with much discussion surrounding the availability of finance for carrying out restoration activities and the increased monitoring required to quantify the benefits of such work.

The trip culminated in Tampere with a workshop designed to explore the ability to develop new funding mechanisms for peatland restoration in Finland. Following presentations on ecosystem service case studies and peatland and climate regulation research outcomes, Jillian Hoy (Peatland Code Coordinator) shared the IUCN UK Peatland Programme’s experience of putting Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes into practice via the development of the Peatland Code.

With attendance from the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the wider academic community and NGO’s, all interested in the potential of taking PES mechanisms forward in Finland the discussions which followed the presentations proved both informative and thought provoking. With the majority of Finland’s peatlands under tree cover and a large portion of these lands within ownership of the government it brings both challenges and opportunities for potential peatland-based PES mechanisms. The conclusion being that a focus on the multiple benefits as opposed to the climate benefits alone could prove the best route forward. The future progress in Finland will definitely be one to watch