In 1990, 749,000 metric
about 20,000,000 bales of peat were sold by Canadian producers. This volume of peat
harvested each year is small in comparison to the estimated 50 million (50,000,000) tonnes
or more of peat that accumulate naturally each year in Canada. On a volume basis, there
are an estimated three trillion (3,000,000,000,000) cubic metres of peat deposits in
||Canadas vast wetland and
peatland resources are gradually being subjected to increased development pressure.
Wetland conservation due to urbanization, industrial development, and agricultural
practices has been substantial , exceeding 20 million hectares since the early
The need to protect
natural resources and to ensure wise, sustainable us of the environment is greater today
than perhaps at any point in our history. Like natural resource sectors, the harvesting of
peat moss around the world has attracted the interest of concerned environmental groups in
government and the public. At present less than 16,000 hectares of Canadas 111
million hectares of peatlands are being used for peat or peat moss harvesting. The
majority of companies involved in this industry, through their association with CSPMA
(Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association), has articulated a policy for
environmentally-sensitive peatland use and for site restoration or reclamation after use.
The industry, in association with
government and non-government interests, environmental groups, and universities is
developing a national peatland research strategy to promote awareness of peatland
restoration technology and restoration. On-going research indicates than new and many
existing sites will revert to functioning peatlands with proper site management during and
after use. Other older sites can also be reclaimed to valued agricultural, forestry, or
wildlife habitat uses.
||Extracts from a
report prepared by David Keys of Maritime Groundwater Inc. for the Secretariat to the
North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada). Sustaining Wetlands
Issue Paper, No. 1992-3.
Copies of this report are available free of charge from:
North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada)
1750 Courtwood Crescent,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2C 2B5
Canadian Peat Moss Association,
4 Wycliff Place,
St. Albert, Alberta, Canada T8N 3Y8.
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