Burning Cultivation of Peatlands in Finland



The practice of peatland burning in Finland is first mentioned in court protocols around 1640, but it might have been practiced in Finland as early as the fourteenth century. Peatland burning was most common in the peat-rich region of Ostrobothnia in Western Finland and during the 1820s and 1830s, over half of the yield of some grains came from peatland cultivation. Research shows that burning cultivation of peatlands was by far the greatest source of carbon dioxide emissions in Finland during the entire nineteenth century through the beginning of the twentieth century.

Author Biography

Jan Kunnas, KTH Royal Institute of Technology: Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Jan Kunnas holds a PhD in History and Civilization from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has done extensive research on Finland’s transition from a solar based energy system to a fossil fuel based one. Currently he is working as a Post doc research assistant in the project "History and the Future: the Predictive Power of Sustainable Development Indicators" at Stirling Management School - University of Stirling, Scotland, UK.