International Peatland Congress (IPC 2021) will be organised by the Estonian Peat Association (acting body NGO Peatland Congress 2020) in collaboration with the International Peatland Society (IPS), the Estonian Peat Roundtable, Tallinn University, the University of Tartu, the Estonian University of Life Sciences and the Tallinn University of Technology. The Estonian Peat Association has actively participated in various international projects and IPS activities, including the development of Responsibly Produced Peat principles, criteria and indicators. In addition, the Estonian Peat Association, together with the Estonian peat family, has vast experience in organizing different symposia and conferences. Among the most recognized is the Baltic Peat Producers Forum (BPPF), held in Estonia every three years. Over the years, the BPPF has become the most important peat event in the region, bringing together more and more participants. In 2018, the BPPF was held in Tartu boasting nearly 300 participants. The 2012 BPPF, held in Tallinn, attracted 240 participants. In 2002, the IPS peat symposium was held in Pärnu, Estonia, and is still regarded as having been a great success.
The Estonian Peat Roundtable was established in 2006 by the Ministry of the Environment. The roundtable unites representatives from governmental institutions, scientists, environmentalists, industry representatives and other interest groups. Its purpose is to openly discuss the current status of Estonian peatlands, to advise the Ministry of the Environment in policymaking, to provide guidance with state expenditures for research and development projects, and to increase overall awareness of peatlands. The roundtable also has a crucial role in the implementation of the principles of “Wise Use of Mires and Peatlands” and “Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management” in Estonian legislation. Several research projects proposed by the roundtable have already been completed, while some are currently in progress and the results are expected in the coming years.
The Estonian scientific community is also very active. Nowadays, there are several high-level research groups in several universities studying various aspects of peatlands, their use and restoration. These include studies on mire paleoecology, their development, greenhouse gas budgets, vegetation, the impact of peat extraction on the environment, and the restoration of extracted peatlands, among others. The Estonian Geological Centre is engaged in applied research studies on peatlands, from the estimation of peat resources and plans for peat exploitation to the inventory and recommendations for the restoration of extracted peatlands. In the recent decade, Estonian scientists have organized several international meetings on peatland studies and, in addition to releasing numerous scientific papers, have published books on the inventory of mire habitats, manuals for the use and restoration of extracted peatlands, a key book of Sphagnum mosses, a history of peat exploitation, and other publications.
Estonian Peat Association
NGO Peatland Congress 2020
+372 470 7095