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Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG)
Université Laval
 
Peat Industry
 

Complete list of our partners.

Canada is the largest horticultural peat producer of the world, with 1.4 million tons per year. The main use of Canadian peat moss is horticulture: home gardeners (40% of the total peat production), professional growers (40%) and mushroom growers (10%). Other uses, such as filtration represent about 10% of the total peat production. Québec and New Brunswick account for 30 % and 38%, respectively, of the Canadian peat moss production, while western Canada, mainly Alberta, produces the remaining (30%). Approximately 26,000 ha of peatlands have been drained for peat extraction in Canada since the beginning, and now 14,000 ha are in production. Peat moss harvesting creates approximately 3,000 seasonal and permanent jobs, located mainly in rural regions. The most part of production (85%) is exported to the United States.

 

Provincial governments are responsible for the management of peat extraction, and regulations differ from province to province. In Québec and New Brunswick, peat extraction is considered to be mining and requires authorization either by the Ministry of Natural Resources or the Ministry of the Environment. In New Brunswick, 85% of cutover bogs are on public lands, whereas in Québec, about 50% are publicly owned. New regulations are currently being activated in New Brunswick, obliging the industry to mitigate harvested sites according to precise criteria. In Quebec, there is a bill on compensation measures for the implementation of projects affecting wetlands.

 

Our industrial partners recognize the importance of sound resource management for environmental, social and economic benefits. The Canadian peat moss industry has voluntary chosen to adapt to international standards, and has agreed with enthusiasm to support our researches to improve peatland resource management.

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