Construction works on renaturalisation of Morochno raised bog degraded hydrological regime were completed at the beginning of March 2009 in the framework of the UNDP/GEF Project “Renaturalisation and Sustainable Management of Peatlands in Belarus to Combat Land Degradation, Ensure Conservation of Globally Valuable Biodiversity and Mitigate Climate Change”. Peat factory “Glinka” participated as a contractor.
Drainage and economic usage of adjacent lands resulted in significant negative impacts on native ecosystems. Accelerated outflow of water along meliorative canals, the first of which were constructed as far back as at the beginning of XXth century, led to the dysfunction of the mires’s hydrological regime and, as a consequence, to the degradation of landscape and biological diversity, appearance of pine and birch low forests at open spaces, disappearance of stenoecic types of plants and animals, reduction of cranberry bog’s area. More than that, drained raised bogs are characterised by the high probability of fires occurrences, which are rather complicated and high-priced to fight.
Renaturalisation of the natural ecosystem at the area of 5721 ha is conducted through increasing ground water level by cascaded decking of five canals, which drain the mire.
According to the representative of the Scientific and Practical Centre for Bioresources of the National Academy of Science of Belarus, the Head of the scientific rationale development group Mr. Mikhail Maksimenkov, 17 dikes ensure optimal water level, which has to be from zero to 20 centimeters below ground level. In order to diminish negative impact from the adjacent working site of the peat factory “Glinka” a protective screen with a one kilometer long dyke was build. The construction constitutes of a vertical embedment made of polyethylene film and aimed to prevent water outflow from the mire to the peat site by-pass canal.
The activities on renaturalisation of the hydrological regime of the Morochno mire, one of the oldest raised bogs in Belarus, have a key importance for the support of landscape and biological diversity in the region of Belarussian Polesie.
Stabilisation of the Morochno mire hydrological regime will increase the ecological potential of the territory, normalise and improve habitat conditions of a big group of rare species of plants, birds and animals. Many of them have global and european threatened type status and included into the Red Book of Belarus, - underlined Mr. Alexander Kazulin, the UNDP/GEF Project Scientific Co-ordinator. Conditions and productivity of hunting grounds will be improved, as well as will raise numbers of important for hunting animals and birds such as elk, hog, heathbird, snipe, night peck. Additionally, it is expected to rehabilitate the productivity of the “Kolodnyansko-Terebezhovsky” local cranberry reserve. Seasonal harvesting of this wholesome mire berry is a key source of additional income for local communities.
Renaturalisation of hydrological regime of a number of depleted peatlands and degraded mires in Belarus in the framework of the UNDP/GEF Project “Renaturalization and Sustainable Management of Peatlands in Belarus to Combat Land Degradation, Ensure Conservation of Globally Valuable Biodiversity and Mitigate Climate Change” is a national contribution of the Republic of Belarus to the observance of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ramsar Convention, Convention on Biological Diversity. The Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Belarus is the national implementing agency of the project.
For additional information please refer to UNDP/GEF Projects Information Officer, Alexei Tchistodarski, at tel. in Minsk +375 (17) 294 90 69