15. Starptautiskais Kūdras Kongress

Kučinga, Malaizija

15. - 19. augusts, 2016

Starptautiskās kūdras savienības (IPS – International Peat Society) 15. Kongress, kas notika Kučingā (Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia) 2016 gada 15 – 19 augustā piesaistīja 870 dalībniekus no 47 valstīm, līdz ar to kļūstot par plašāk apmeklēto konferenci kopš 1955 gada, kad notika 1 IPS konference Dublinā. Vienlaikus ar kongresu notika izstāde, kurā piedalījās 28 institūcijas reprezentējot pētījumu rezultātus, pētniecisko un ražošanas aparatūru. Kongresa ietvaros notika IPS valdes vēlēšanas un IPS darbības atskaite. Par IPS prezidentu tika ievēlēts Gerald Schmienevski no Vācijas. Galvenās kongresa tēmas bija par siltumnīcas efekta gāzu emisiju no purviem un mitrzemēm, un to apsaimniekošanas risinājumi, bioloģiskās daudzveidības un purvu aizsardzība, purvu rekultivācija, purvu loma sabiedrībā, purvu izmantošanas risinājumi.

The 75th Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia

Peat and sapropel - synergy of production, science and environment in the context of effective resource use

Riga, Latvia

31st. January, 2017

   Peat and sapropel constitute one of Latvia’s largest and most important natural resources. The volume of peat deposits is estimated at about 1.7 billion tonnes, with approximately 170 to 190 million tonnes of sapropel. These organogenic peatland and lake sediments formed during the postglacial or Holocene (the last 11 700 years) and accumulated in a wetland environment (peat) or in the aquatic environment of lakes (sapropel), are important resources both in economic terms as well as from the perspective of natural history and nature conservation.

   In the last century Latvia peat was an important part of economic life and was widely used both as a fuel and also for agriculture. Only 4% of all peatland areas have been excavated in the course of peat extraction; however, taking into account the slow rate of peat accumulation as well as changes in technology and use, as well as environmental requirements, it is clear that such a valuable deposit as peat has so far not been used effectively enough, and in the future its utilisation should not be restricted to the accustomed uses.

   So that peat and the sapropel resources may be preserved for future generations they should be wisely managed and protected. For this purpose, it is necessary to apply new, modern processing methods, develop the creation and introduction of new, innovative products, and make effective use of exhausted or partially exhausted peatland areas. To achieve this, it is necessary carry out scientific research and experiments with close cooperation between scientists, producers, conservationists and peatland and lake area managers.

   For 10 years now, the plenary session and sessions of the environmental section of the scientific conferences of the University of Latvia have served as a platform for such cooperation and the general exchange of information on research results, opinions and the vision for practical applications, bringing together all the people involved in research, use, protection and restoration of peatland and lake sediments. The conference sessions cover a wide range of scientific research, and are aimed at promoting cooperation between researchers, government institutions, the nature conservation sector and manufacturers. The conference themes include possibilities for sustainable and innovative use of Latvia’s natural resources (peat and sapropel), environmental impacts and mitigation solutions.   

   Representatives of the Latvian peat producers (I. Krigere, U, Ameriks, R. Skudra) in the first part of the session “Peat and sapropel - synergy of production, science and environment in the context of effective resource use” during the 75th Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia introduced with peat industry achievements, sustainability and its challenges. Scientists discussed about important studies like Greenhouse gas emissions and absorption of CO2 in managing wetland soils (A. Lazdins), peat humic substances and their application possibilities (O. Purmalis). Special attention has been given to the data analysis of peat deposits quality, making recommendations for their improvement and use of the national strategy framework document preparation. Leader of LIFE Restore Project in Latvia K. Paberzs reported on progress in restoring degraded peatlands sustainable management activities. The results of sapropel investigations were presented: from research to application, like sapropel as lime binders potential to use hemp composite concrete.

   Number of oral and poster presentations reflected results of the researchers, students and practitioners joint research on peat and sapropel.

   Peat, which is regarded as one of Latvia’s most important natural environmental resources, has so far been used rather extensively and ineffectively, largely because of a lack of understanding of peat qualities and the possibilities of its use in modern, innovative products. Lately, more attention has been given to research on peat properties and the possibilities of their application. This largely relates to the aspects of protecting raised bogs, as well as recultivation of exhausted peat fields and changes in peat properties in drained peatlands. Special attention is given to the qualities of peat as a substrate and the possibilities of using it for modern, innovative products.

   Another important direction of peat research is research into the peat formation process and analysis of the conditions that affect the properties of peat. Great attention is given to how the humification process affects the properties of humic substances. However, in modern science the peat mass is considered to be an important material for the study of past processes, such as how the manmade load and metal emissions have changed, since they accumulate and are retained in the peat mass. Similarly, peat botanical composition can allow us to trace vegetation development and the character of peat accumulation under the impact of climate changes and human activities.

   However, it must be noted that research into the properties of peat is still quite far behind what could be achieved through detailed studies. The most important directions of peat research:

1) interconnections between peat composition and formation conditions,

2) characterisation of the process of biomolecule transformation during humification,

3) studies of new opportunities for the use of peat.

   In order that the information and discussion provided in the sessions might reach the widest possible audience, summaries of reports are published, as well as collections of articles. Extended summaries of the papers presented at the session “Peat and sapropel - synergy of production, science and environment in the context of effective resource use” during the 75th Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia are published in a special collection of articles, which makes the questions addressed in the reports, in addition to the publicly available video and presentation materials, accessible to the general public, which will contribute to the understanding of these natural resources, their formation and use.

   The questions discussed in the conference and the available material will foster cooperation between researchers, government institutions, the nature protection sector and producers, as well as permitting a wider range of specialists and interested parties to engage, so that they can together find the best solutions for sustainable management and preservation of this unique and important natural resource in Latvia – peat and sapropel.

Starptautiskās kūdras apvienības (IPS) ikgadējā sanāksme

Skotija, Aberdīna

28. - 31. maijs, 2017

  LNKB tika pārstāvēta Starptautiskās kūdras savienības (IPS) konferencē Skotijā par tematiku “Purvu un mitrzemju atbildīga apsaimniekošana”, kurā Oskars Purmalis sniedza ziņojumu par Kūdras pētījumiem Latvijā, kā arī ņēma dalību darba grupā par vides aspektiem saistībā ar purvu izpēti, monitoringu. Bija iespēja noklausīties ziņojums, kas tika iedalīti tematikās par izpēti, SEG emisiju novērojumiem, rekultivāciju, izstrādi un ekonomiskajiem aspektiem, kā arī mežsaimniecību. Piedāvātajā ekskursijā tikām iepazīstināti ar kūdras ieguvi un viskija ražotnes tradīcijām, to skaitā kūdras izmantošanu.