Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Thaer-Institute | Institute | Departments | Department of Crop and Animal Sciences | Soil Science and Site Science | Welcome to the homepage of the Department of Soil Science! | BEWAMO: An Assessment Tool for categories of worthiness of protection and for a remote sensing based monitoring approach agricultural peatlands

BEWAMO: An Assessment Tool for categories of worthiness of protection and for a remote sensing based monitoring approach agricultural peatlands


German agricultural peatlands are mainly used as grassland, but in spite of restrictive legal framework, also as arable land. Depending on the land use intensity these grassland areas provide the base for animal feed as well as for energetic use.


Conventional Agriculture require drained organic soils. Intensive land use with heavy equipment cause continuously soil degradation, loss of soil fertility and consequently the loss of agricultural land.


Peatlands are the largest terrestrial carbon pools in the world. Simultaneously peatlands react as strong greenhouse gas sources due to intensive drainage. Consequently an adaptation of land use and water management is required for many years. There exist no binding regulations for the conservation of peatlands on agricultural used sites and the farmers have to focus on a land use enhanced further soil degradation due to economic pressure. This situation contradict national demands for a good practice in agriculture and international purposes like Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for a “land degradation-neutral world”.  Currently there are some experiences with a carbon-maintaining peatland management only for rewetted and protected peatlands.


An alternative option for a nationwide protection of agricultural used peatlands constitute in a site-specific classification of peatlands regarding to stored carbon amounts as well as to the vulnerability of the potential carbon loss. Such categorization support different worthiness of protection for peatlands and a graduated management for agricultural used peatlands to draw up and fund peat-maintaining agri-environmental measures.




The Aim of the project network is the development of an assessment tool, that

  • Quantify the carbon pools and the potential carbon losses of agricultural used peatlands, as well as justify categories of worthiness of protection
  • Designate adapted agri-environmental measures for these categories considering the socioeconomic boundary conditions
  • Provide a remote sensing approach to monitor the hydrological conditions for a sustainable implementation.



Project Coordination and

Management                                                        Andreas Herrmann, Prof. Dr. Jutta Zeitz


Project Duration                                                  07/2018 – 12/2022


Project Network Partner                                     Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut (TI)
                                                                           Stabstelle Klima
                                                                           Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig

                                                                           Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU)
                                                                           Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4
                                                                           24118 Kiel

                                                                           EFTAS Fernerkundung Technologietransfer GmbH
                                                                           Oststraße 2-18
                                                                           48145 Münster


Sponsor                                                               Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft