45 Min - Our peat: Climate killer from the moor

In Germany, a vast area of moorland near Meppen burns for weeks in the fall of 2018 and can hardly be extinguished; underground fire eats its way through a drained peat body. Suddenly, everyone is talking again about a primeval German landscape that has almost disappeared in Germany: the moor.

Without hesitation, 97 percent of the moors in Germany were drained.  Now it's taking its revenge. Peat is the basis of industrial crop production. Without peat, there are no vegetables. Although dry peat still lies beneath many meadows and fields in Germany, it is virtually forbidden to extract it. This is a problem for peat producers, who have now moved to the Baltic states. There the peat is cheap and still plentifully available. Hans Joosten from Greifswald is one of the world's leading scientists on peatlands. The professor is fighting for dry land to be wetted again. To prevent bog fires and for climate protection reasons because dry bogs emit the climate killer carbon dioxide in large quantities. But he knows that the drained moors in Germany cannot be completely returned to nature. One compromise in terms of climate protection and land use is paludiculture, farming on wet soils. Peat producers are also thinking about how peat can be replaced in the future. Unusual alliances are forming: Peatland conservationists and peat growers are trying to develop ideas together on how to replace peat. Because peat cannot yet be replaced if people want to continue to buy fresh vegetables everywhere and at all times in the supermarket in the future. "45 Min" with a film about the future of peatlands, climate protection and how peat could be replaced in the future.

19.11.2018
Documentary
45 minutes
Script
Susanne Brahms
Rainer Krause
Director
Susanne Brahms
Rainer Krause
Editing
Helge Rudolph
Camera
Susanne Brahms
Rainer Krause
Production
Kinescope Film GmbH
Broadcaster
NDR
Editorial Staff
Kathrin Becker
Line producer
Matthias Greving