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29 March 2023, 19:29

Belarus' peat reserves expected to last for over 130 years

MINSK, 29 March (BelTA) – Belarus has peat reserves sufficient for over 130 years, BelTA learned from Boris Kurzo, head of the lab for using and protecting peat and sapropel deposits of the Nature Management Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

Boris Kurzo said: “Belarus boasts Europe's fifth largest peat reserves after Russia, Finland, Germany, and Sweden. According to [the Belarusian national fuel and natural gas distribution industrial group] Beltopgaz, in 2022 Belarus became Europe's largest peat extractor. Initial peat reserves in Belarus were estimated at 5.7 billion tonnes. As much as 1.7 billion tonnes was extracted over the course of 80 years. The total peat reserves are now estimated at about 4 billion tonnes.”

Boris Kurzo added that in 2015 a number of organizations worked out a strategy on preservation and smart exploitation of peat lands as well as a new scheme for their distribution for various applications in the period till 2030. The scheme was approved by the government and is now in effect. According to the scheme, all the peat resources are subdivided into three application areas: nature protection, forests, and exploitable deposits. The latter occupy 99,000ha.

At present peat-extracting enterprises have access to about 7,000ha of peat lands. A large percentage of these lands can be further expanded while reserves of the current allocations stand at 302 million tonnes. According to Beltopgaz's latest data, approximately 2.2 million tonnes of peat is extracted every year. This is why Belarus has sufficient peat reserves for over 130 years, the scientist noted.

Apart from that, Belarus' existing peat deposits are now being inventoried using satellite imagery. Their state is being evaluated and an atlas of Belarus' peat resources is being compiled.

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