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  • Wyss Academy

Regenerating raised bogs more efficiently and more effectively

HUB BERN | Project LANAT-4

Our goal:

Our aim is to develop the currently lacking scientific foundations and expertise required to regenerate raised bogs efficiently and effectively.

A successfully regenerated area in the raised bog Steinmöösli in Schangnau. Photo: Abteilung Naturförderung ANF (Archive of the Nature Promotion Department)

In a nutshell:

Raised bogs are biotopes with highly specialized flora and fauna. They act as CO2 and water reservoirs and have a balancing effect on the microclimate. With skillful visitor management, they can also be used as attractive recreational areas. Peatlands are among the most endangered habitats in Switzerland. By adopting the Rothenthurm Initiative in 1987, Swiss voters expressed their desire to preserve the last remaining peatlands in the country, and, if necessary and possible, restore them. As a peatland-rich canton, Bern bears a special responsibility.

Restoring raised bogs is technically complex. In many places, the necessary knowledge, specific expertise, and proper monitoring are still lacking. Human activities have disturbed most peatlands, but the extent of impact varies depending on their historical use, such as peat extraction or drainage. To make the best use of available funds, restoration efforts need to be prioritized. Within the scope of this project, the necessary basic data will be collected and restoration measures will be implemented in prioritized areas. Through monitoring, the effects of restoration on biodiversity and the reduction of maintenance efforts will be assessed, ensuring long-term quality and the possibility to replicate the results in other peatlands.

When it comes to regeneration, experts hold different opinions on the most effective approaches. Therefore, as a first step, an assessement of previously implemented projects was conducted to evaluate the suitability and effectiveness of the regeneration measures employed in eight peatlands. Later on, a workshop based on this evaluation allowed experts to start formulating recommendations for action, often referred to as "best practices," and pointing out the research requirements in the field.

With financial support provided by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), a CAS course is being jointly developed by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and the Haute école du paysage, d’ingénierie et d’architecture de Genève (HEPIA) to train peatland experts. The raised bogs in the canton of Bern will be used as case studies for students. The knowledge gained will directly contribute to the restoration efforts of raised bogs.

The Seefeld raised bog at Grüenenberg pass. Bogs cover only 3 percent of global land area while storing 21 percent of the carbon in soils (Source: Swiss Biodiversity Forum). Photo: Abteilung Naturförderung ANF (Archive of the Nature Promotion Department)
A spider sits on the peat moss in the “Chlepfibeeri” bog. Photo: Hintermann & Weber

Regeneration of the raised bog Lörmoos: sheet pile walls prevent water runoff and thus improve the water balance of the bog – a key factor for restoration. Photo: Abteilung Naturförderung ANF (Archive of the Nature Promotion Department)


In collaboration with:

Office for Agriculture and Nature of the Canton of Bern


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