On 10 October 2018, Latvian Television aired a broadcast dedicated to peatland ecosystems. This was a series within a popular science broadcast called Impulse of Discovery (Izziņas impulss in Latvian). In the broadcast, the role of peatlands in regulating flooding and climate by sequestering greenhouse gases (GHG) was explained, as well as the conflicting nature of peat extraction and mire conservation was emphasized.
In the TV broadcast, several LIFE Peat Restore experts were involved by demonstrating one of the project monitoring sites and giving interviews on various topics concerning peatlands. The project’s Latvian national coordinator Māra Pakalne pointed out the role of peatlands in regulating climate by accumulating carbon in peat. She emphasized that peat should not be extracted in intact mires, especially when there are highly degraded and partly harvested peatlands across the country. She is convinced that peat should not be harvested in protected nature areas, as it still happens in Latvia.
The TV broadcast covered one of the LIFE Peat Restore raised bog restoration areas in Augstroze Nature Reserve. The broadcasting team followed the process of installing GHG measurement equipment and monitoring groundwater table and vegetation dynamics. The GHG measurement expert, Steve Foster, explained the principles of measuring GHG by using the chamber method. GHG will be measured for the next two years by specialists of Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies under supervision of Inga Grīnfelde. The project expert from NABU, Andreas Herrmann, demonstrated automatic monitoring of solar radiation, soil moisture and temperature. These data are important to detect the amount of GHG emissions from peatland soil and will be further used in the modelling of carbon sequestration by plants. The project’s hydrogeologist Oļģerts Aleksāns demonstrated measurements of groundwater table using data loggers and explained the importance of groundwater table in peatland ecosystems. The vegetation expert Agnese Priede spoke of the use of plants as indicators in monitoring the drainage and restoration effects in peatlands.
The broadcast is available at the archive of Public Broadcasting of Latvia (in Latvian language).