2nd February 2021 | Press Releases

Green Ministers welcome €10m European funding on World Wetlands Day for new Peatlands and People project

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On World Wetlands Day, Green Ministers Malcolm Noonan and Pippa Hackett warmly welcome the announcement of a major new initiative, ‘Peatlands and People’, which will contribute to the long term implementation of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan and promote and protect Ireland’s biodiversity.

The project has been awarded €10m from the EU Life Funds, with additional support of €2.5m and other resources from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Climate and Communications. This is in addition to the €108m allocated for a large-scale peatlands restoration project from the Climate Action Fund in 2020.

In Ireland, our wetlands and peat bogs will play a crucial role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Peatlands around the globe store vast amounts of carbon – twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests.

Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD said:

“The restoration and rehabilitation of Ireland’s peatlands is a critically important aspect of our response to the climate and biodiversity emergency. When healthy, these unique and precious habitats are home to some of our most threatened species and are among our best lines of defence against climate change: sequestering and storing carbon, reducing the impact of floods and filtering water. This project builds on the important work undertaken by the National Parks and Wildlife service in my department since 2018 to restore and rehabilitate peatlands, and I’m happy to say that there is much more to come.”

As part of the Peatlands and People project, a Just Transition Accelerator programme is being established that will focus on low-carbon and circular economies to support the midlands region economically. A Peatlands Knowledge Centre of Excellence will also be established along with an immersive People’s Discovery Attraction to introduce the importance of climate action and peatlands to citizens.

Welcoming these initiatives in the Midlands region, Pippa Hackett, Minister of State and Green Party spokesperson for Land Use and Biodiversity stated:

“It’s just wonderful to see more Green investment coming to the Midlands, and I’m delighted that my Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have co-financed this important project. The establishment of a Peatlands Knowledge Centre of Excellence to carry out and examine peatlands restoration will be a marvellous addition to this region, and it will play a central role effecting positive climate action from these bogs. I’m really looking forward to visiting the immersive People’s Discovery Attraction when it’s up and running. It will be a super attraction for locals and tourists alike.”