For a long time, peatlands were considered a “storehouse of resources” for humans; their ecosystem services provided a steady income to local residents. Due to peat development cessation and closure of enterprises, local residents have lost their jobs and interest in peatlands. As a result, abundant peat cut fields became fire-hazards. A sociological study was undertaken in order to identify which groups of local residents could benefit from peatland restoration. The study was conducted in four pilot regions of Russia as part of the project “Restoring peatlands in Russia” (PeatRus), funded by the International Climate Initiative with German-Russian cooperation. The vulnerable groups of the population (the older generation, women, people with disabilities, and people with low financial income) were addressed first. For the considered pilot regions, ecological restoration projects had become drivers of socio-economic development and gave a start not only for restoration of peatland ecosystem functions, but also for developing the economic potential of the territory and the local community. In the course of the PeatRus implementation we developed a unique method for interaction with different stakeholders, including especially vulnerable ones. The presentation describes an example of a completed project in the Kameshkovsky district, Vladimir region. The applied method of stakeholder involvement will be replicated in other areas. Therefore, the ecological restoration projects allow reduction of the fire hazard, launches ecosystem restoration processes, as well as to identifying new opportunities for the use of peatlands’ ecosystem services for the sake of the local community’s sustainable development.
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Society for Ecological Restoration