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Climate change body arrives in Scotland to steer peatland restoration

Last modified: 24 January 2012

Lochans and peat bog at the RSPB Forsinard nature reserve, Scotland

RSPB Forsinard Flows sits within the Flow Country, the largest blanket bog in the world.

RSPB Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to honour its manifesto pledge to restore Scotland’s peatlands.

The call comes on the first day of a meeting in Edinburgh by scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to develop guidelines on wetland management, including the restoration of peatlands.

From 24th to 26th January, experts from across the globe will discuss evidence surrounding the greenhouse gas emissions from damaged peatlands and the savings that can be made by restoring them.

It comes after rules on ‘wetland drainage and rewetting’ were agreed at the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban in December 2011.

The new rules mean that the green house gas (GHG) savings from peatland restoration can be credited to Scotland when the IPCC agrees the guidelines. 

RSPB Scotland’s Forsinard Flows reserve in Sutherland sits within the Flow Country, the largest blanket bog in the world at 1,500 square miles. It holds some of our rarest and most important wildlife, such as hen harriers, sundew and otters. It is a natural asset with the Flows alone holding 400 million tonnes of carbon. Working with Flow Country partners, restoration work has started on over 10,000ha of peatland at this one site.

Jim Densham, Senior Land Use Policy Officer at RSPB Scotland, said: ‘We welcome the Minister’s championing of peatland restoration in the fight against climate change. Scotland is an ideal location to hold the IPCC meeting because we have on show some of the biggest and best examples of peat bog habitats on the planet.

“Peatland restoration is essential in the fight against climate change. We have the tools and knowledge to turn damaged bogs which are currently losing carbon into vast protected carbon stores. Restoration techniques will also turn peatlands into havens for wildlife and a source of clean water.

“What we need now is Government to make good its manifesto pledge to restore Scotland’s peatlands. We need a clear statement of intent from Ministers about how they aim to secure this natural resource and the funding to make

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