Avoidance of GHG Emissions by Restoration and Sustainable Management of Peatlands in Ukraine


Peatlands are an important component in the Earth’s carbon balance maintaining system. Natural peatlands absorb carbon, helping to mitigate climate change; meanwhile drained peatlands release significant quantities of carbon dioxide, increasing the greenhouse effect. The project aimed to restore the degraded peatlands of Ukrainian Polissia and to contribute to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and to enhance biodiversity in Eastern Europe. This experience in restoring peatlands in a sustainable and socially oriented way also has the potential to be implemented in any peatland around the world.

Main project tasks

  • Restore at least 20,000 ha of drained peatlands through rewetting
  • Integrate the restored peatlands into the existing network of protected areas
  • Establish a system of GHG emission monitoring and accounting on the restored peatlands (establish a system for monitoring and evaluating GHG emissions from restored peatlands)
  • Increase the profitability of restored land
  • Ensure the long-term peatland management and involve local land users into the management activity through introducing Land Management Plans and carbon projects
  • Train Ukrainian specialists in Botany, Reclamation Engineering and other related field in the particularities and techniques of peatland restoration and GHG emission accounting

Project tools

For this project the ICDU team developed unique tools which helped to project changes in the environment and calculate GHG emissions, namely:

  • The algorithm of the methodology to account GHG emissions from peatlands
  • Spatial hydrogeological model based on GIS technologies to project peatland’s groundwater level fluctuations and changes
  • Geodatabase for each site
  • The methodology for vegetation mapping based on analysis of multispectral satellite imagery

The ICDU was also responsible for the development of monitoring strategy, management plans, PDD for carbon projects and business models and for the implementation of measures aimed at generating income in local communities.


The Institute for Community Development was a subcontractor in the project that was implemented by the Ukrainian Society for the Protection of Birds (USPB – BirdLife Ukraine) in a partnership with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ( RSPB, UK) and the Michael Succow Foundation (Germany). The project was carried out with the support of the Ukrainian Ministry of the Environment and the National Environmental Investment Agency, Ukraine. The funding was provided by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW Entwicklungsbank in the framework of the International Climate Protection Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

Project particularities

  • Wide use of GIS technologies
  • Wide use of Remote Sensing techniques