As a collaborative result of discussions among experts in peatland rewetting and growing media representatives, initiated by GME in spring 2023, a joint white paper was published. The paper highlights the potential synergy between peatland rewetting and the growing media industry in the Netherlands. Peatlands, covering about 290,000 hectares in the country, are critical for biodiversity and climate regulation. However, their use for agriculture, particularly dairy farming, has led to significant CO2 emissions due to land subsidence. The government's ambition to rewet these lands offers a dual benefit: reducing emissions and providing sustainable bio-based raw materials for the growing media industry. The paper discusses the challenges and opportunities in peatland restoration, such as sphagnum moss and acrotelm cultivation, which offers significant CO2 sequestration potential. The Dutch potting soil industry, a global leader, seeks sustainable raw materials for the growing horticulture market. The synergy between paludiculture (farming on wet peatlands) and growing media production could offer environmental and economic benefits, although financial feasibility remains a key challenge. The paper outlines a roadmap for collaboration between these sectors, emphasizing the need for research, adaptation in peatland management, and stakeholder communication.
Read the full paper in the attachment.