Photograph: Aughrim bog by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)

On October 20th, 2022, the Irish government published a report that explores the need for increased pan-European collaboration on peatlands restoration, conservation and management.

The exploratory study and resulting report was driven by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The report highlighted that peatlands are some of the most valuable ecosystems in Europe for biodiversity, water supply and carbon storage, but that currently, these benefits are not being fully realised.

The study, which utilised different methods of data collection including workshops, surveys and interviews, identified five key areas that could benefit from collaboration on peatlands:

  • A government-supported network to grow political awareness, identify and help unlock large-scale funding, and drive knowledge exchange on all levels.
  • Increased harmonisation to outline a common vision for the sustainable management of peatlands, create comparable scientific approaches, and support coordinated actions across organisations.
  • A unified and coherent voice for peatlands that is backed by science and governments, raises the profile of peatlands, and forms a louder joint voice championing peatlands issues.
  • More viable solutions for farmers and landowners at a scale that focus on long-term economic incentives, accelerate the peatlands economy, and support large-scale pilot sites.
  • A pan-European, integrative approach to peatlands with multi-stakeholder collaborations that fosters open and transparent dialogue, is cross-sectoral and on all stakeholder levels, and builds upon existing initiatives.

Read the full report here.