Update: Funding for Peatland Management and Restoration

Update: Funding for Peatland Management and Restoration

Background

If voluntary uptake of peatland restoration outwith designated areas is to be achieved, then funding must be available to meet not only the direct capital costs of peatland restoration but also the potential opportunity costs. For example, some landowners still have concerns relating to increased wetness and land becoming unsuitable for sheep grazing or grouse production.

Recent work commissioned by the IUCN UK Peatland Programme suggests that interpretation of agri-environment support for peatland restoration is different across the four devolved authorities and has resulted in varied uptake of peatland management and restoration. Further work is needed to quantify (£) the restoration effects on land productivity to allow realistic costs to be explained to landowners and to ensure that any real economic losses to be reimbursed through alternative payment mechanisms. The Peatland Code currently represents a form of PES-based payment and application of the Code would benefit from an improved understanding of the realistic opportunity costs to landowners to ensure that voluntary uptake of peatland restoration does not present an economic burden to the landowner.

Objectives

  • Provide a brief outline of the current funding available across the UK to support sustainable peatland livelihoods and peatland restoration activities
  • Quantify the financial costs and benefits to society associated with peatland condition. Provide examples, using case studies where relevant
  • Quantify the opportunity costs associated with peatland restoration and sustainable management, in the context of current agri-environment policy. Provide examples, using case studies where relevant
  • What options might be viable to support sustainable peatland livelihoods post-Brexit? Is PES likely to be a realistic option? Include case study examples of PES successes and future needs of PES-based payments.

Outputs

Each team is delivering the following:

  • A workshop with relevant stakeholders to scope out topic content plus additional workshops as required
  • A written report presenting a consensus view (where possible) amongst the author team and wider stakeholders; where a concensus view is not attainable the report will present the argument clearly and summarise any knowledge gaps. Protocols will be suggested where possible to address these knowledge gaps
  • A summary briefing in plain-English of the key findings of the report and recommendations for future work, using case studies to provide examples of key points
  • A graphical representation of the topic as a whole, or a key aspect of the topic to be either a) a graphical abstract; b) a summary diagram; or c) an infographic
  • Presentation of findings at an Open Inquiry Event, and in addition the option to present at the 2018 IUCN UK Peatland Programme annual conference.
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