What is peatland restoration?

Peat restoration aims to restore the ecological functions of peatlands. Peat restoration is generally supported by activities to improve the welfare of local communities to ensure the success of restoration in the long run. 

Restoring peatlands © CIFOR
Restoring peatlands © CIFOR

Degraded or damaged peat cannot return to its natural state without a peat reformation process, which could take hundreds of years. Peat restoration efforts consisting of wetting or rewetting, revegetation, and revitalization are carried out to restore peat to its near natural conditions. Based on the criteria for the peatland physical condition, *peat restoration efforts can be categorized into:

  1. Fully restored
    Near natural groundwater levels, plus assisted revegetation where needed;
  2. Partially restored
    Partially and gradually raised groundwater levels (to -40cm) with (some) assisted revegetation if needed.
  3. Not restored
    Areas with groundwater levels (well) below -40cm, areas devoid of tree cover.

*This categorization only considers the physical condition of peatlands and does not include the success of revitalizing the economy of the peatland communities.

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