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Monday May 13th

9:00 - 12:00 IPS Executive Board meeting (members only)

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch (Mensa)

13:00 - 13:50 National Committee Roundtable

14:00 - 15:20 Revision of the Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management

15:30 - 17:00 IPS Annual Assembly (open to all)

18:00 - 21:00 Ice Breaker



Tuesday 14th

7:30 - 8:50 Registration

9:00 - 9:30 Symposium Opening

Welcome speeches by

  • Dr. Andreas Bauerochse, Chair DGMT

  • Gerald Schmilewski, President IPS

  • Dr. Joachim Blankenburg, Vice Chair  DGMT

  • Professor Dr. Michael Schulz, CEO MARUM

9:30 - 9:50 Growing media yesterday and today

Dipl.-Ing. agr. Silke Kumar, Chair DGMT Section II and Quality manager MoKuRa, Scharrel, Germany 

9:50 - 10:10 Present situation and development of the peat industry in China
Professor Dr. Meng Xianmin, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China and Chair of the IPS National Committee of China

10:10 - 10:30
Canadian peatlands: Horticulture use in growing media and responsible management of ecosystem services
Paul Short, President of the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), Canada

10:30 - 10:50 Long-term responsibility in managing Baltic peatlands

MSc. Erki Niitlaan, Chair of the Estonian Peat Association, Estonia

10:50 - 11:20 Coffee Break

11:20 - 11:40 Growing media volumetric potentials for meeting developments in the period 2020-2050
Ir. Chris Blok, Greenhouse Horticulture, Wageningen University and Research, Bleiswijk, the Netherlands

11:40 - 12:00 International, regional and national peat policies – challenges for peat industry?
Professor Dr. Jack Rieley, IPS Executive Board member and Coordinator of the IPS Expert Group Conventions and International Affairs, United Kingdom

12:00 - 12:20 Kekkilä-BVB - sustainable growing solutions for international markets
Juha Mäkinen, CEO Kekkilä-BvB Oy, Finland

12:20 - 12:40 Peat uses in Europe – results of an IPS survey    
MSc. Hannu Salo, Coordinator of the IPS Expert Group Growing Media and Energy Peat, Finland 

12:40 - 14:00 Lunch (Mensa)

14:00 - 14:20 Growing media – a challenge towards a sustainable future
Msc. Stefaan Vandaele, Chair of Growing Media Europe AISL, Brussels, Belgium

14:20 - 14:40 Alternativen zu Torf in Kultursubstrate im Kontext internationaler Märkte
(Alternatives to peat in growing media in the context of international markets)

Dr. Jan Köbbing, Head of Sustainability Management, Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH, Geeste, Germany
Extended Abstract

14:40 - 15:00 Die Torfminderungsstrategie des BMEL (The Peat Reduction Strategy of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture)
Dr. Thomas Schmidt, Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL), Berlin
Extended Abstract

15:00 - 15:20 Substrate in Deutschland - eine Branche mit Zukunft? (Growing media in Germany – an industry with a future?)
Dr. Arne Hückstädt, Coordinator of the Department Growing media, potting soils, constituents in the Industrieverband Garten, Düsseldorf, Germany

15:20 - 15:50 Coffee Break

15:50 - 16:10 Ansätze für Substratausgangsstoffe aus nachhaltigen Rohstoffen
(Approaches using sustainable raw materials for growing media)

Professor Dr. Elke Meinken, University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Germany

16:10 - 16:30 National and global regulatory challenges for the peat industry - with a particular focus on growing media
Dipl.-Geograph Bernd Hofer, Chair of IPS Commission Peatlands and Environment and
Business Manager Hofer & Pautz GbR, Altenberge, Germany

16:30 - 17:20  Discussion Session: Economy Meets Environment and Society


  1. Peat Certification

  2. Availability and Quality of Growing Media Constituents

  3. Do we still need Peat?

  4. Symposium Wrap Up

17:20 - 17:30 Introduction to the International Symposium on Growing Media and Quality of Life in Qingdao, China, September 16-21, 2019
Professor Dr. Xianmin Meng, Institute for peat and mire research, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China

17:30 - 17:40 Introduction to the 16th International Peatland Congress: Peat and Peatlands - Source of Ecosystem Services, Tallinn, Estonia, 14 - 20 June 2020
Erki Niitlaan, Chair of the Estonian Peat Association

17:40 - 17:50 Introduction to the Excursions on May 15
Silke Kumar and Gabriele Gramann

19:00 - 24:00 On-board-Dinner (BBQ) on the ‚Alexander von Humboldt‘ (extra price)



Wednesday 15th

Excursion 1    
Teaching and Experimental Institute Bad Zwischenahn    
Commercial grower LÜSKE    

Excursion 2    
Gramoflor (growing media production/rewetting after extraction)
Commercial grower MELLE

Departure to MARUM and possible drop off at Bremen airport

17:00 Leaving home