My Work on Peat


IPS Peat Dialogue.

On behalf of the International Peat Society (IPS) and in cooperation with Bernd Hofer (Hofer & Pautz), I organised and facilitated the IPS Dialogue Communicating Cooperative Strategies for the Wise Use of Peat Lands. A dialogue meeting was held in Bremen on May 19, 2016. Further steps are being prepared.


article in Peatlands International

Presentation at Substrate 2030 (German)


Responsibly Produced Peat

Formulation of Indicators for the Coming Certification System for Peat-Based growing media. Facilitation on behalf of RHP/Foundation for Responsibly Produced Peat.

See presentation:

Roundtable on the Development of Peat Areas in Lower Saxony

Facilitation of closed stakeholder consultation meetings. Participating: local and regional politicians, nature conservation organisations, farmers, peat industry. Win-win solutions were agreed but never implemented in local and regional policies.


Responsibly Produced Peat

Formulation of Principles and Criteria for the Future Certification System. Facilitation/Coordination for RHP/VPN , The Netherlands. See presentations:



Sustainable Peat Supply Chain

Facilitation of two stakeholder meetings in the context of the project carried out by Alterra/Wageningen University, contribution to research report.


Peat-Based Growing Media

Responsibly Produced Peat

There are still sufficient sources of peat available that can be extracted responsibly. Apart from minimizing negative impacts during the extraction phase, the main concern is to exclude peat from 'high conservation areas' and to guarantee the best available scenario for developing the peat area after extraction. With Dutch government support, a project was started in 2011 by RHP (The Netherlands) and partners to define Principles and Criteria for Responsibly Produced peat, which is the basis for the RPP certification system (tested in 2014, certified peat available from 2015 onwards).

  1. Legality
  2. Good Governance
  3. Site Selection
  4. Peat Extraction
  5. After-Use

Not All Peat Production is Responsible

Peat is an important component of growing media used both in professional horticulture and in the hobby sector. Although there is still ample availability of peat in the world, peat production may have seriously negative impacts on biodiversity, hydrology and other landscape values. When peat is produced from already degraded peatlands, its impacts are generally low, whereas developing peat production from pristine peat bogs may lead to huge damage. Impacts also strongly depend on the quality of after-use, such as re-wetting.

oil palm 

The Need for a Standard

It is in the interest of the growing media and peat producing industry to categorically exclude peat from non-responsible sources: peat from high conservation value areas and peat from extraction sites without proper after-use. The International Peat Society IPS has produced a Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management. The industry association EPAGMA has published its EPAGMA Code of Practice. RHP and VPN (the Netherlands) have taken the initiative to go one step further beyond principles and codes: to develop a certification scheme for responsibly produced peat. The RPP certification system is operational now.

More information on the RPP website