Action: Convert to organic agriculture or aquaculture near peatlands
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of converting to organic agriculture or aquaculture near peatlands.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Organic farming avoids the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, instead relying on crop rotation, locally adapted crops/livestock, biological pest control and natural on-site fertilizers such as manure (European Commission 2017). If these principles are applied on terrestrial farms or in aquaculture systems close to peatlands, spillover of pollutants into peatlands may be reduced.
This section considers the overall effect of organic vs conventional farming on peatland vegetation. Organic farming may benefit biodiversity in general (Dicks et al. 2013), as well as reducing spillover of chemicals on to peatlands.
Key peatland types for which this action may be appropriate: bogs, fens/fen meadows, tropical peat swamps.
Related actions: retain or create buffer zones between pollution source (e.g. agricultural land) and peatland); reduce amount of fertilizer or herbicide used near peatlands; manage fertilizer or herbicide application near peatlands, such as when or how they are applied.
Dicks L.V., Ashpole J.E., Dänhardt J., James K., Jönsson A., Randall N., Showler D.A., Smith R.K., Turpie S., Williams D. & Sutherland W.J. (2013) Farmland Conservation: Evidence for the Effects of Interventions in Northern and Western Europe. Pelagic Publishing, Exeter.
European Commission (2017) What is Organic Farming? Available at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/organic-farming/what-is-organic-farming. Accessed 1 August 2017.