Clima-East: Conservation and sustainable management of peatlands in Belarus to minimize carbon emissions and help ecosystems to adapt to climate change

About of project:

Project Period: 06.2013 – 31.12.2017

Budget: € 1,498,000

Executing Agency: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus

Implementing agency: United Nations Development Programme

Location: Brest Region: State Nature Protection Establishment "Zvaniec Republican Landscape Reserve" (Drahičyn District) and State Nature Protection Establishment "Sporava Republican Bio Reserve" (Biaroza District) 


Shrub, underwood and reed invasion on peat bogs jeopardizes the unique biodiversity of the reserves. In order to restore and protect the natural landscape excessive vegetation should be regularly removed. The produced peatland biomass may partially substitute hydrocarbons as an ecological fuel, as well as be used in the construction sector.

Goals and Objectives: Demonstrate innovative approaches to ecosystem-based climate mitigation and adaptation at peatlands; prevent the colonization of open bogs with shrubs and reed to provide conditions for the ecosystem conservation and reduce fire hazards; organize sustainable use of produced vegetal biomass from the Zvaniec and Sporava Reserves.

Intermediate Outcomes: Excessive vegetation is regularly removed from lowland bogs under the Project. Special machinery has been bought for the purpose; regular bog mowing plans have been developed.  The received biomass is used as a fuel in local boiler plants.

In two years, over 2,300 hectares of bogs were cleared and over 3,485 tons of dry peatland biomass produced, including 3,037 tons of wood, 74 tons of grass and 364 tons of reed were harvested; they substitute in part traditional hydrocarbon fuels that are the main source of greenhouse gases.

Local residents are trained to control subsoil water levels, which is an effective measure of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Project has allocated funds for the construction and repair of water regulating facilities in the Zvaniec Reserve. One of the benefits of these investments is the 100% possibility to mow hard-to-reach bog sections. The Project has successfully conducted the controlled burning of dry vegetation on over 4918 ha of peatlandto prevent accidental peat bog fires in Belarus.

Points of Contact:

Vladimir Koltunov, Project Manager

+ 375 17 204 89 65, +375 29 656 63 77,