Foto: M. Nosova Foto: M. Nosova

Round Table Conference on “Climate-Smart Agriculture in Wetlands and Peatlands: Prospects for Russia”

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On March 5, 2019 a Round Table Conference on “Climate-Smart Agriculture in Wetlands and Peatlands: Prospects for Russia” was held at the Russian State Agrarian University – Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy.

The initiative of the Round Table Conference belongs to experts and partners of the project “Restoring peatlands in Russia”, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Russian State Agricultural University – Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy (RSAU-MTAA). The event was financially supported by the International Investment Bank.

The main purpose of the Round Table was to bring together representatives of scientific and educational organizations, small and medium businesses, experts, practitioners and land users that deal with economically efficient and environmentally safe use of wetlands in order to determine the intellectual and infrastructural potential for making climate-smart agricultural decisions on wetlands in Russia.

In order to successfully implement peatland restoration projects, it is important to identify sustainable uses of rewetted peatlands that could be a source of additional income for local communities. Cultivation of wet crops that provide biomass production of required amounts and quality, along with peat formation, can be regarded as an environmentally responsible approach to wetland management.

In addition to traditional agricultural products – food, feed, fibre and fuel – the use of wet crops can provide significant indirect benefits, such as climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and storage in soils, regulation of groundwater levels (flood control), improvement of water quality, and conservation and restoration of wetland biodiversity.

The participants of the Round Table Conference discussed the accumulated international expertise in this area and considered possibilities of its adaptation and application in regions of Russia, taking into account local peculiarities and the diversity of economic, environmental and social conditions.

Much attention was paid to the identification of promising interactions between all stakeholders in the development of practice-oriented knowledge and implementation of pilot projects on dissemination of best available paludiculture technologies in Russia.

The event was attended by 43 experts from Germany, Italy and five provinces of Russia (Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ryazan, Tver and Vladimir), and by 30 students from K.A. Timiryazev Agricultural Academy.