Pilot Projects

Pilot Project in Ukraine

Conservation and sustainable use of peatlands

UAPilotProject (1)

Project Objectives

The aim of the project in Ukraine is to contribute to the climate change mitigation capacity building by:

  1. building capacity of the National GHG inventory system of Ukraine in sector land use/land use change/forestry (LULUCF), namely organic soils carbon stock changes accounting;
  2. developing and testing at pilot region practical ecosystem-based approach for degraded private arable peatlands conversion to semi-natural conditions with high value for local people and biodiversity conservation.

The objective of the pilot project in Ukraine is to demonstrate how within one landscape certain areas of abandoned degraded agricultural peatlands that emit carbon can be restored, while adjacent areas can be protected at the same time to increase carbon sequestration. The model will demonstrate local community involvement and resolution of land tenure difficulties, and will be fed into the National Green Investment Scheme, in view of triggering a series of follow-up restoration projects. In order to document the demonstration activities, a scientific monitoring program has to be put in place, and hence the project will strengthen the inventory and carbon accounting for peatlands in peatland-rich districts of Ukraine using the experience of the GHG emissions modelling.

General description of background information

In Ukraine up to 1 million hectares peatlands were drained during last century, a process that turned peatland-based wetlands from sink to source of carbon. The economic value of drained peatlands has dropped soon after the melioration. During the last decades the drained peatlands have changed ownership from state to private and are neglected. As a result, drained peatlands-based ecosystems with mixed, private-municipal structure of land ownerships are source of GHG emissions with very low use for local development. By now limited experiences are available for peatlands rehabilitation at ecosystem level with respect of climate change mitigation, local communities’ development and biodiversity conservation. The State Environment Investment Agency is one of the initiators of the proposal and its key Government partner.

UAPilotProject (2)

The project targets Nizhyn Rayon in Chernigov Region, which is one of ten regions of Ukraine, where 95% of drained peatlands are located. The project envisages 3 main Activities. Activity 1 will deal with inventory of peatlands in the whole 10 administrative oblasts in the northern part of the country since no such inventory has been undertaken so far, and will also create the basis for the inclusion of peatlands in the Green Investment Scheme on the national level. Activity 2 will deal with the restoration of natural hydrological regime at 3,000 ha of degraded agricultural peatlands to prevent emissions of carbon and restore habitat adjacent to neighbouring natural peatlands which have high value for biodiversity and which will be further designated as protected areas under Activity 3. In total, the project will help restore 16,816 ha of degraded peatlands at the abandoned agricultural drainage network Smolianka located in Nizhyn Rayon of Chernigov Region. The GHG emission reduction potential of the restoration project is in the range of 4 tCO2eq/ha/year (based on ICI experience of projects in a similar ecological context in different countries).The project will also introduce sustainable economic resource-use such as biomass harvesting and grazing.

Achieved results so far

1.     Carbon stocks and fluxes assessment methodology for organic (peat) soils is developed.

2.     Monitoring program for carbon flux assessment in peatlands is developed.

3.     Guidelines and criteria for peatlands re-wetting projects are developed.

4.     Set of dedicated peatland thematic (GIS-based) dataset layers for the National GHG Inventory System (for ten north oblasts of Ukraine) is prepared.

5.     Village cooperative is established.

6.     Village cooperative’s business plan is developed.

7.     Site re-wetting plan is developed.

8.     Design project for restoration of hydrotechnical facilities and subsequent land management of the Smolianka drainage system is developed.

9.     Scientific-economical justification, required for the establishing of the RLP, is prepared.

10. Regional Landscape Park “Nizhynskiy” is established.

11.  Environmental campaign “Clean country” is organized.


The pilot project is funded by the European Union (€1 800 000) and co-funded by UNDP ($100 000), that is also implementing it on the field. 

More Information

The Power of Peat by Climate Adaptation UNDP on Exposure – also available in Ukrainian and French

Website of the project (UNDP)


Project Document (in English)

Inception Report (in English)

Methodology for estimating greenhouse gas emissions and removals from organic soils (peatlands) for the needs of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory System as regards accounting for emission and removal of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) by organic soils, Tier 2 (or higher) methods, with account of existing experience of Ukraine and other countries (in English)

Contact information

Project Manager: Mr Vasyl Tolkachov (vasyl.tolkachov[at]undp.org)