LIFE REstore - Sustainable and responsible management and re-use of degraded peatlands in Latvia

LIFE14 CCM/LV/001103

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Kaspars Paberzs
Email: kaspars.paberzs@daba.gov.lv

Project description:


Peatland drainage was carried out in Latvia throughout the Soviet era, up to the 1990s. This contributed to the degradation of natural ecosystems and resulted in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from areas that previously stored large amounts of carbon (carbon sinks). According to unofficial studies, in 1991, there were about 55 000 ha of peat extraction fields in various stages of exploitation in Latvia. Currently, peat extraction licences are issued for about 25 000 ha, with areas where activities have not been carried out for at least 20 years forming an additional 20 000 ha. A general lowering of the water table prevents the natural re-vegetation of these areas. Appropriate, sustainable, and integrated management of these peatlands is therefore required to protect ecosystem services and to reduce further GHG emissions.


The main objectives of the LIFE REstore project are:

  • To develop a methodology to quantify GHG emissions from managed wetlands in Latvia, in accordance with IPCC guidelines for national GHG inventories;
  • To perform an inventory and develop a database for degraded peatlands in Latvia;
  • To develop a decision-support tool for land re-use planning in degraded peatland areas, which achieves an optimal balance between ecological restoration for biodiversity, economic benefits, and GHG emission reductions; and
  • To support policymakers, by providing a strategic framework for implementing sustainable re-use of degraded peatlands within the National Peat Strategy.
  • Expected results: The LIFE REstore project aims to promote sustainable and responsible management of degraded peatlands. This will enhance the capacity of governments, businesses and civil society in decision and policy-making processes regarding alternative approaches for degraded peatland re-use. In particular, the following results are expected:

  • Management plan developed for the Natura 2000 area ‘Lauga Mire Nature Reserve’;
  • GIS database created, with degraded peatland areas identified through survey;
  • Methodology developed for GHG accounting, for key emission source categories in managed wetlands, in accordance with IPCC guidelines;
  • Criteria for peatland classification developed;
  • The natural capital of degraded peatlands estimated;
  • Land re-use and management planning support model developed for the optimal re-use of degraded peatlands;
  • Selected land re-use optimisation models developed and management scenarios implemented for peatland re-use in demonstration areas;
  • Ecosystem services impact assessment conducted for degraded peatlands; and
  • Recommendations provided for application of financial and other governmental and municipal tools that are available for implementing land re-use scenarios in degraded peatlands.
It is estimated that the above-mentioned activities will result in CO2 emission reductions of approximately 2 227 metric tonnes per year, and a CO2 storage capacity of 838 metric tonnes per year in Latvia.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Freshwater


decision making support‚  wetland‚  management plan‚  restoration measure‚  greenhouse gas accounting

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2009/31 - Geological storage of carbon dioxide and amending Directives 85/337/EEC, 2000 ...
  • Decision 529/2013 - Accounting rules on greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from acti ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Nature Conservation Agency
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Latvia’s Nature Conservation Agency (NCA) is responsible for managing the country’s protected areas, which include 334 Natura 2000 network sites. The NCA oversees planning and scientific research in protected areas, through collaborations with local authorities, the tourism sector, NGOs and education institutions.
Partners BaltCoasts(Association "Baltic Coasts"), Latvia Silava(Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava"), Latvia LPPA(Latvian Peat Producers Association), Latvia


Project reference LIFE14 CCM/LV/001103
Duration 01-SEP-2015 to 30-AUG -2019
Total budget 1,828,318.00 €
EU contribution 1,096,990.00 €
Project location Kurzeme(Latvia Latvija) Latgale(Latvia Latvija) Riga(Latvia Latvija) Pieriga(Latvia Latvija) Vidzeme(Latvia Latvija) Zemgale(Latvia Latvija) Extra-Regio(Latvia Latvija) Associated Latvia (LV)(Latvia Latvija)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version