Restoration of carbon sinks

32) In line with the CBD’s recommendation, identify protected areas and adjacent ecosystems which have the capacity to be restored because of their importance as carbon sinks and for carbon sequestration. On the basis of this information, assess the management of protected areas and the need for restoring adjacent degraded ecosystems, in terms both of biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration in ecosystems.

Responsible institutions: Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest

Schedule: 2013–2014

Status in 2018: The working group on improving the status of habitats in Finland (ELITE) published its report in 2015. The report assesses habitat-specifically the consequences of different restoration actions for carbon sinks.

The significance of protected areas as carbon stocks and sinks in forests on mineral soils is being examined in the fourth subproject of the project Finnish Protected Area Network in a Changing Climate (SUMI; see action 30). Furthermore, the carbon uptake capacity of forests on mineral soils is examined as a part of the Integrated Biodiversity Conservation and Carbon Sequestration in the Changing Environment (IBC-Carbon) project, which also examines areas in commercial use.

The capacity of carbon fuptake and the increase of biodiversity in peatlands, as well as the reconciliation of other objectives, were examined in the EU-funded project LIFEPeatLandUse, which especially aimed to find solutions for ditched peatlands where forestry is not commercially reasonable. According to the results of this project, the reasonability of restoration depends mostly on the type of peatland, the chosen action, and the emphasised objectives.
Thus, basic research on the restoration of carbon stocks is still needed. Actual management recommendations and the assessment of restoration actions is possible when the results of these research projects are available.

Further information: The Integrated Biodiversity Conservation and Carbon Sequestration in the Changing Environment (IBC-Carbon) project

Tolvanen, A., Saarimaa, M. et al. 2018 Quantification and valuation of ecosystem services to optimize sustainable re-use for low-productive drained peatlands. LIFEPeatLandUse (LIFE12 ENV/FI/000150) 2013 – 2018 Layman's Report