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The Transition to Sustainable Life on Wetlands: How the Sustainable Use of Peatlands Appears on the Political Agenda


In intact, living peatlands, peat accumulates due to high water tables. The drainage of peatlands, particularly for agriculture and forestry, leads to peat degradation and CO2 emissions. Even though peatlands cover only three percent of the Earth’s land surface, their carbon storage potential makes them crucial ecosystems for the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. In order to use peatlands as a global carbon sink, but also to create other ecosystem services, wet peatlands have to stay wet, and drained peatlands have to be rewetted and could be used wet as well. The sustainable use of peatlands is called paludiculture. We explain how paludiculture, as an alternative approach to the unsustainable use of drained peatlands, came to be on the agenda of global climate protection initiatives and how this concept also found its way on the agenda for European agricultural policy reforms. For this, we use John Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Approach and different theoretical refinements as an analytical frame.

Table of Contents: Transitioning to Sustainable Life on Land