According to a report from Fréttablaðið this morning, 33 hectares of wetland have been reclaimed at Gottorp by Hópið, with 660 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions being saved by the project. The United Nations Climate Change Council states that on average, one hectare of drained land emits 19.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.
The Wetlands Fund was established in 2018 as a community project which raises funding for the restoration of damaged wetlands in Iceland. Einar Bárðarson, managing director of the Wetlands Fund, says that the best times to restore wetlands are spring and autumn.
“We wanted to begin restoration in the spring, but there was snow in the area right up until nesting season, so we couldn’t begin the project,” he told reporters. “Now we’re trying to expedite matters before it snows again in the Westfjords.”
According to Fréttablaðið, the Wetlands Fund restored 72 hectares last year, stopping the emission of 1,440 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Einar emphasises that the greenhouse gas prevention done by wetlands restoration is not simply a carbon offset, but a direct stop, meaning that a further 1,440 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions will be saved by that restoration every year from now on. This means that “the sooner these operations are carried out, the better.”
Einar emphasised the need for companies, institutions and individuals to take responsibility for their carbon footprint.
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