ONLINE WORKSHOPS FOR PEATLAND STAKEHOLDER IN THE ALPINE SPACE
Three online workshops for peatland stakeholder in the alpine space were conducted between October and December of 2020, to find out gaps of knowledge and action within alpine wide peatland-protection. 90 participants from Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Italy, Austria and Slovenia took part in the exchange of experiences on the topic ‘peatland protection in the alps’ and created a comprehensive network. The workshops originate from the initiative of the ARPAF II project "Impuls4Action" and the EUSALP Action Group 7, which focuses on peatlands as part of the Green Infrastructure. "Impuls4Action" aims to trigger actions to support sustainable development by providing appropriate tools, raising awareness, and finding new models for sustainable soil protection in the Alps. The workshops were implemented in cooperation with the project “Peatlands in the Alps” which is financed by the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection and the Fundaziun Pro Terra Engiadina, carried out by the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf.
With the workshops, a first fruitful step was made, to find solutions for joint challenges and to uncover urgent need for action and gaps in knowledge and data. It is the beginning for more communication and knowledge exchange in between peatland experts of all alpine countries. The exchange about specific problems in peatland protection between the alpine countries could improve peatland conservation, restoration, and management practice for the benefits of all. The idea of an alpine wide large-scale implementation project to improve networking, peatland protection and the knowledge database is positively seen. In the workshops, several interesting and important topics, which could be solved in a larger follow-up project, were mentioned. For instance, to improve the mapping of peatlands or joint research projects on grazing or climate change effects on peatlands in the Alps. Additionally, it was suggested that better communication and raising awareness is needed as well as more and better-trained peatland professionals.