Boost for Moore as additional money and know-how promised to save valuable habitats

SOME of Ireland’s most valuable and vulnerable habitats have received a boost of funding and expertise in an important nature restoration project.

Fifty-five fens, covering primarily the western and northwestern slopes, are to be included in an expanded Wild Atlantic Nature program.

The program works with landowners, farmers and local communities to try to reverse the fate of peatlands that have been drained, grazed and planted to the point where their unique landscape and species are at risk of disappearing.

Along with nature’s decline, the loss of peatlands deprives the country of one of the most effective natural greenhouse gas sinks, as healthy wetlands can absorb and sequester large amounts of carbon.

An additional €15 million will be made available for the scheme, allowing for collaboration with similar schemes and experts working in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan made the announcement while returning from the Cop15 global biodiversity summit in Montreal.

A team of Irish biodiversity experts are in Montreal supporting international negotiations aiming to agree an agreement that would protect 30 percent of the world’s lands and seas by 2030.

Mr Noonan said the Wild Atlantic Nature program was already showing good results and he was keen to expand it.

“I’ve just come back from Cop15 where many are discussing the link between biodiversity and climate change,” he said.

“Our peatlands are a perfect example of how nature can help mitigate the effects of climate change and I am pleased that this funding will help increase efforts to restore more peatlands to deliver climate and ecosystem services .”

The Wild Atlantic Nature program is a nine-year EU-funded project that started last year and aims to improve conservation efforts in Ireland more generally.

It encourages and supports farmers to change their land use practices through a payment system.

His initial focus was on 35 fens in the north-west that have protected status due to their designation as Special Protection Areas.

This will be expanded to 55 blanket bogs over the next two years.

The additional €15 million includes €10 million from the Government’s Shared Island Fund and €5 million jointly from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and NatureScot.

Mr Noonan said the funds would be used for training, professional development and education programs at local and national levels, as well as restoration work.

https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/boost-for-bogs-as-extra-cash-and-expertise-pledged-to-help-save-precious-habitats-42225731.html Boost for Moore as additional money and know-how promised to save valuable habitats

Fry Electronics Team

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