New Brunswick – Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) yesterday, which will see the two organizations continue their work to develop innovative, sustainable, and ethical peatland and wetland management practices.

Peatlands are geological areas with high amounts of partially decayed organic matter in wet conditions. In Canada they cover around 13 per cent of the country’s surface area, offering many environmental benefits from hosting high levels of biodiversity including many species of waterfowl, to filtering pollutants, and functioning as an extremely efficient natural carbon sink.

Peat harvested in Canada is used in horticulture, primarily as an important ingredient in growing media that contributes to food security and well-being. Although the footprint of the horticultural peat industry is small (less than 0.03 per cent of Canadian peatlands), DUC and the CSPMA acknowledge the importance of establishing best practices for peat harvesting and peatland restoration to ensure that this sensitive and valuable resource is managed with long-term sustainability in mind.

Asha Hingorani, president of the CSPMA explains, “Ensuring the ecological restoration of peatlands that have been used for horticultural peat harvesting are a key value to the CSPMA and its members, specifically through our National Peatland Restoration Initiative. This renewed partnership with DUC provides cooperation and collaboration on research projects, knowledge mobilization and sharing. DUC is a trusted partner to help move our goals and objectives towards environmental stewardship forward.”

The newly signed MOU addresses many goals, with DUC and the CSPMA working together primarily on conservation initiatives that will guide policy recommendations for government and industry on topics like management and restoration, climate change mitigation, wildlife habitat planning, and sustainability. Knowledge sharing is another key focus of the MOU, with both organizations realizing the value of collaboration.

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Peatland Ecology Research Group students (Photo credit: CSPMA) (CNW Group/DUCKS UNLIMITED CANADA)

“We are committed to our relationship with the CSPMA to support the continued understanding of Canada’s boreal wetland systems, promoting and supporting the use of strong science in sustainable development and wetland stewardship, and providing organizational science-based expertise,” says Kevin Smith, national manager of DUC’s National Boreal Program.

DUC’s National Boreal Program has over 20 years of experience working with governments, Indigenous Peoples, and industry to develop comprehensive, science-based solutions for conserving boreal wetlands. DUC is a registered charity and the leader in wetland conservation.

This MOU is the second between the two partners, whose work is ongoing with many like-minded organizations for the betterment of Canadian wetlands and ecosystems.

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