A Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change

„Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.“
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

It is impossible to foresee how climate change will exactly effect the peatlands of Berlin. If projections of climate change for the region of Berlin-Brandenburg can be relied on, a decrease in groundwater level will occur by 2046/55 („future scenario“). As a result, the groundwater-dependent ecosystem services of Berlin's peatlands would become increasingly vulnerable from drainage (SenStadt 2007, SenStadtUm 2012a).

The objective of the adaptation strategy of the project is reflected by its title:

Preserving the Ecosystem Services of Berlin's Peatlands

The different tools to accomplish this goal are comprised of a range of detailed scientific data and works about all of Berlin's peatlands with a view to the followng target groups and levels:

  • the general public,
  • policy makers in government,
  • policy makers in councils and agencies,
  • planners in landscape management,
  • planners in peatland preservation projects.

The schematic below illustrates the process for application of the results for planners of peatland preservation projects. The climate adaptation modules, developed during the project together with their input parameters, were marked by a yellow background (we are sorry that the contents of images are not available in English):

Abbildung Ziele

Goals of the adaptation strategy as well as modules and input parameters to enable prioritizing and planning for peatland preservation projects. The scientific information is intended to promote their realization and acceptance, and to improve the public perception of their variety of ecosystem services.

Additionally to the application for peatland preservation projects, the information provided can be utilized for socio-political benefits such as these:

  • availability of basic knowledgee about the peatlands of Berlin for the general public,
  • enhanced perception of the ecosystem services of Berlin's peatlands by the general public through accessible information (Environmental Atlas, website, topical maps),
  • promotion of acceptance of the ecosystem services of Berlin's peatlands and peatland preservation projects through scientific information,
  • support of the implementation of the ecosystem service approach for planners and special programs in accordance with political and official frameworks related to peatland preservation through accessible scientific information.
Abbildung Politik

Objectives of the adaptation strategy (red) and application of the tools provided on the socio-political level.

The project's objective follows existing objective definitions of a number of concepts, studies and strategies in Berlin:

Objectives of the study Climate Change and Cultural Heritage (Lotze-Campen et al. 2009)  

  • preservation and revitalization of wetland and peatlands,
  • improvement and upgrading of the tools of the flora-fauna-habitat und the water framework directive,
  • realization of investigative projects testing suitable strategies for adaptation to climate change.

Objectives of the Urban Development Plan “Climate„ (StEP Klima/UDP Climate) (SenStadtUm 2012a)

  • strengthening of natural greenhouse gas storages and implementation of water management for wetlands and peatlands,
  • showing implementation foci for groundwater dependent biotopes and peatlands within the landscape programme,
  • showing restoration states of wetlands and peatlands in landscaping maps.

Objectives of the Berlin Strategy for Biodiversity (SenStadtUm 2012a)

  • preservation of the wetland character of peatlands with a mire-typical flora and fauna that has already disappeared or cannot be preserved

Objectives of the feasibility study „Climate-Neutral Berlin 2050“ (SenStadtUm 2014)

  • maintenance and restoration of peatlands to improve their natural function as carbon sinks for greenhouse gases