A new £8 million fund has been launched to help restore peatlands and reduce carbon emissions in Scotland.
Unveiling the investment on 15 March, Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the Peatlands Action Fund will help deliver on Government targets to restore 250,000 hectares of peatlands by 2032.
Approximately 1.7 million hectares of land in Scotland is covered in peatlands, which help combat climate change by locking in carbon. However, if left in a degraded condition, they produce greenhouse gas emissions rather than act as a sink for soaking up carbon.
Speaking during a visit to the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Red Moss of Balerno reserve in Edinburgh, Ms Cunningham said: “Restoring our peatlands and taking advantage of their value as a natural resource is crucial if we are to continue to build on our world leading low carbon ambitions, and reduce emissions by 66% by 2032.
“By increasing our investment more communities will be able to transform and use peatlands as an open space, regenerating it as a habitat for wildlife and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2013 our peatland restoration work has already transformed more than 10,000 hectares with this new funding set to deliver a step change in our approach by restoring 8,000 hectares in 2017-18 and ultimately lead to our goal of 250,000 by 2032.
Developing peatlands is just one area covered in our draft Climate Change Plan which sets out the real on the ground changes that need to happen across our economy to achieve our ambitious targets.”
Andrew McBride, SNH Peatland Action Manager, said: “This is wonderful news for our peatlands and our wildlife, as well as for tourism and rural jobs. The extra investment will almost double the amount of peatlands we can restore, and also get more people aware and involved in taking care of this valuable natural resource.”
Source – Build Scotland