Monday, 23 January 2017

Draft Climate Change Plan & Peatland

The Scottish Government has published its Draft Climate Change Plan and this sets out the Government's ambitions for peatland restoration.  Long term funding is to be provided to deliver large-scale peatland restoration.  The members of the Forum may have a role to assist with the Awareness Raising policy, outlined below.

Peatland Restoration Progress
Since 2013, through the Peatland Action Initiative, around 10,000 hectares of peatlands have been restored through Scottish Government led action, working with public and private land managers across Scotland.

Ambitions for peatland
By 2020, 50,000 hectares of degraded peatland will have been restored, from a 1990 baseline, and by 2030 we will have increased this to 250,000 hectares – an improvement of valuable soils in around 20% of Scotland’s landmass. By 2050, Scotland’s expanded peatlands will be thriving habitats, sustaining a diverse ecosystem and sequestering more carbon than ever before.

Extract from the Draft Climate Change Plan - Section 13.4, p131
Our ambition – Peat 
13.4.3  By 2030, 40% of degraded peatland will be restored to good condition. This policy action will have considerable impact by converting peatlands from emitting carbon to acting as a carbon sink as well as reducing emissions from degraded bogs. The restored peatland will also help mitigate flood risk and improve water quality, as well as helping to increase biodiversity in restored areas.

13.4.4  As well as providing increased carbon storage, this large-scale peatland restoration delivery across Scotland will also produce multiple benefits for communities and the economy. The key sectors expected to see benefits are tourism, food and drink and the environment.

13.4.5  To make progress towards this ambition, we will focus on achieving a significant increase in the scale of degraded peatland restored, from a 1990 baseline to:
• 50,000 hectares restored by 2020
• 250,000 hectares restored by 2030

13.4.6  Our longer term ambition is that by 2050, Scotland’s expanded peatlands will be thriving habitats, sustaining a diverse ecosystem and sequestering more carbon than ever before.
Peat policy outcomes, policies, development milestones and proposals

Policy outcome 1: To enhance the contribution of peatland to carbon storage, we will support an increase in the annual rate of peatland restoration, from 10,000 hectares in 2017/18 to 20,000 hectares per year thereafter.

Policies which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 1 
1)  Restoration grants: We will provide grant funding to support eligible land managers to deliver peatland restoration. Levels of funding will enable at least 20,000 hectares of peatland restoration per year from 2018/19.
2)  Awareness raising: Working through partnership, we will put in place tools and information to develop the capacity, skills and knowledge of land managers, contractors and others, to deliver peatland restoration.

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