SCBA for Frisian peat meadows: opportunities for curbing subsidence

Published on {{ $filters.formatDateWithYear(1581289200000) }}

Is it socially responsible to curb land subsidence in the Frisian peat meadows? And if so, what is the best long-term approach? In mid-November 2019, under assignment to the Province of Fryslân and the Wetterskip Fryslân water authority, Witteveen+Bos produced a social cost-benefit analysis on this issue.

The analysis investigated five policy options which limit subsidence to varying degrees by reducing the level of drainage. Costs and benefits were calculated relative to the forecasted outcome of conducting ‘business as usual’ and, as much as possible, expressed in euros. Ultimately, a combination of two policies offered the best option for tackling subsidence and carbon emissions while providing farmers with a pathway to a sustainable future. 

A more sustainable future for agriculture can be achieved by: 

  • Customising water management solutions. This offers the most opportunities for farmers to pursue the same revenue model with reduced drainage.
  • Developing new revenue models that can effectively be combined with rewetting, such as closed-loop agriculture, expanded agriculture and nature-friendly agriculture.

The Province of Fryslân and Wetterskip Fryslân plan to adopt a peat meadow programme in the autumn of 2020 which will run from 2020 to 2030.