Harvesting Moss and Top Peat Layer Destroys Open Peatlands in Finland

Finnish peat industry found a new way to destroy peat bogs

In Finland it is allowed to peel off the vegetation and the surface layer of peat from peatlands without an environmental permit. It is not even required to inform the authorities of this activity.

Peat industry claims that this is an “environmentally friendly” way to produce growing media for gardening and greenhouses. But in practice harvesting has been done on unditched open peatlands, which possess considerable ecological values.

Peatlands are unique communities that can be destroyed in a matter of days but require thousands of years to form naturally. Even removing the surface layer obliterates the peatland’s natural flora and fauna, and its recovery will take dozens of years.

Kivisalmenneva mire, owned by UPM, peeled off by Biolan Oy.

This Kivisalmenneva mire was peeled by Biolan, a Finnish company that produces growing media from peat, compost and sphagnum moss.

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