Main research question
Peat soils contain large carbon stocks. Drainage of soils for agricultural use causes large CO2-emissions. The conservation of carbon in peat soils is important for climate change mitigation. The Interreg NWE CarbonConnects project aims to conserve or increase carbon stocks in peat or wet soils by raising ground water levels, growing aquatic plants and capturing carbon in biomass.
This research focuses on eight pilot sites in Northwest Europe (the Nederlands, France, Belgium, UK, Germany and Ireland). In Belgium, the pilot sites are De Blankaart and Kwetshage in the western part of the country. As subpartner of VLM, ILVO investigates the impact of raised ground water levels on soil carbon stocks and the opportunities for farmers to use biomass from the pilots in the farm. Examples are the use for bedding in stables or the use of biomass in farm compost to increase soil carbon in nearby arable land.
The project investigates business cases for sustainable wet agriculture by marketing biomass, use of biomass on the own farm or obtaining money from carbon or blue credit schemes.