Peat Mining in Manitoba

Canadians are increasingly aware of the severe environmental issues associated with peat. For centuries peat was used as a source of fuel, and in modern times it is commonly used as a growing medium in amateur gardening. Unfortunately, peat mining is an incredibly destructive and unnecessary industry.

Globally, peatlands are the world’s most important terrestrial carbon sink, making them one of the greatest climate change mitigation tools available. Mining for peat releases this vast carbon store into the air and stops the area from sequestering new carbon. Mining for peat further affects local water quality, and removes a distinct ecosystem that houses many unique species.

Industry claims that, once mined, peat bogs will be restored to their natural state. Unfortunately, this process will take hundreds, if not thousands, of years! Peat bogs are often reclaimed into a type of wetland which, while better than nothing, is of lower ecological quality than the original bog. Reclamation also can’t undo the fact that the carbon stored in the original bog has already been released into the atmosphere.

Countries in Europe have already recognized the destruction that their past peat mining has caused, and are spending millions to restore and protect previously affected peat bogs. There is an international call to recognize the true ecological value of peat and to work towards comprehensive protection of peatlands.

Despite all this, peat mining is actually increasing in Manitoba. Five new peat mine licenses have been applied for in the last two years, and three of them have already been approved.

The science has spoken. This outdated and wasteful industry must be stopped. With our national reputation on climate change in tatters, responsible action on peat in Manitoba is needed.  Proposals for new mines must be denied, and a formal ban on peat mines must be legislated.

Join the fight against peat mining -- support the campaign today.



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Recent Developments

18 weeks 5 days ago
Manitoba’s Climate and Green Discussion Paper needs more nature   As the provincial government rolls out legislation and discusses their climate and green initiatives, we need to ensure that nature protection is at the heart of environmental actions.  Manitoba released their Climate and Green Discussion Paper at the end of October this year, a lengthy 60-page document touching on an incredible 109 different policy ideas, proposals and commitments. While it has some good points in it, it misses some needed policy. Read on to see some of the highs and lows and what you need to do now to direct the government’s policy.   The government's deadline for feedback is Dec. 22, so we’ve put together this letter writing tool to submit your comments.  

Take Action

Help Stop the Manitoba "Peat Rush"

Manitoba is suffering from a “peat rush” right now, with companies currently trying to get approval to strip mine thousands of hectares of boreal lowlands to harvest peat moss. Peatlands, however, are an important part of a healthy Manitoba environment.

Peatlands, which are all wetlands, are natural filters that provide and store clean, clear fresh water. Peat lowlands also provide important habitat for unique plant species like the carnivorous pitcher plant (right), as well as moose. But the most significant benefit of peatlands is that they store vast amounts of carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Mining peat will reduce or eliminate all of these ecological benefits.

Please write to the Minister for Conservation and Water Stewardship, and let him know your opinion on this important public land issue.

Write your letter today!

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