Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Gibson welcomes Peatland announcement

News release immediate release


Brilliant news that shows how important Scotland is in reducing world green house gasses was how Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson greeted the news that the Scottish Government are to carry out research funding to restoring Peatlands and that the

CancĂșn summit agreed that developed countries can reduce their carbon emissions by rewetting Peatlands.

The Scottish Government has given £200,000 for the project which will be run by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the RSPB will make bolster the work already being done in the Flow Country to restore peatlands.

Commenting Mr Gibson who is a long proponent of restoring peat bogs said….

"This is brilliant news on two levels firstly the continued support from the Scottish Government for rewetting of peat bogs and the fact that peat bogs are to play an important role
globally in reducing carbon emissions."

"60% of Scotland is covered by peatlands or carbon rich soils and the peatlands hold more Co2 than all the forests in the UK. So make no mistake this is a chance for Scotland to lead the

way in the world."

"We have already led the way with world leading climate change legislation, now we have an excellent opportunity to do it again. The work being carried in the Flow country in Caithness

and Sutherland is of extreme importance and will go a long way to helping the planet reduce green house gasses."


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Link to document -


The discussion paper has been prepared by the Government with support from SEPA, SNH and Forestry Commission Scotland and is intended to inform that debate.

There are 1.5 - 2 million hectares of blanket bog in Scotland making it our most extensive terrestrial semi-natural habitat.

The peat underlying blanket bog represents our largest terrestrial carbon store at around 1,600 million tonnes.

The Scottish Government is supporting Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)'s project, Managing and Restoring Blanket Bog to Benefit Biodiversity and Carbon Balance - a Scoping Study.

This study, to be carried out within the next year by the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (MLURI), will include:

* a up to date review of relevant habitat restoration methods, activity and success;

* national and regional overviews of the extent and condition of the blanket bog resource; and

* engagement with land managers, and the research and policy communities to determine priorities and potential pilot sites.

The Scottish Government will host a stakeholder meeting in the New Year to review the implications of the proposal following the UNFCCC meeting in Cancun, regarding the inclusion of the GHG emission benefits of wetland management (such as peatland restoration) in the national GHG Inventory and to consider next steps.

Work to protect our carbon rich soils includes financial support through the Scotland Rural Development Programme, regulation and the planning regime, and guidance such as that
on locking carbon in soils promoted by the Farming For A Better Climate initiative.


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