Welsh Government promises to triple peatland restoration to protect nature

Following results of an investigation into nature recovery, the Welsh Government has committed to ramping up its peatland restoration scheme in a bid to protect biodiversity. 

The expert led ‘Biodiversity Deep Dive’, commissioned by the devolved government, recommended the National Peatland Action Programme be scaled up to help reach net zero targets by 2050.  

In response, Welsh ministers have accepted the recommendation and have said they will triple peatland restoration targets, increasing from 600 hectares to 1,800 a year.  

Peatland is a valuable carbon store and previous reports have found it can help to improve water security, containing up to 90% water, acting as natural barriers to wildfires and reducing the risk of flooding.

landscape photography of mountains during foggy weather

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: ‘If we give nature a helping hand it returns the gift in the bucket-load.

‘Today’s Biodiversity Deep Dive helps us urgently rethink our relationship with the natural world and how to make the next best choices which benefits us and the future generations of Wales.

‘That’s why, with the Minister for Rural Affairs, we are tripling our peatlands restoration targets to boost our insect and bird life and bring security to our fresh water supply in Wales.

‘The United Nations has said that urgent action taken over the next decade will determine the seriousness of the climate and nature emergencies.’

The report is based on the United Nations ‘30 by 30’ goals, aiming to protect 30% of the earth’s land and marine life.

Ms James assured the government was set to accept further recommendations made in the report to halt biodiversity loss.

Other suggestions made in the report include improving the connectivity and resilience of protected areas, ensuring land and marine planning consider biodiversity and encouraging awareness, behaviour change and green skills development.

RSPB Cymru and biodiversity deep dive panel member Sharon Thompson, said: ‘As we approach the COP15 Biodiversity Summit in Montreal in December, where we want global leaders to agree to ambitious targets to restore nature, this Deep Dive couldn’t have come at a more important time. We are in a Nature and Climate Emergency, and with the potential of really significant threats to nature elsewhere, making sure the recommendations of the Deep Dive are urgently turned in action in Wales is critical.’

Photo by Sean Paul Kinnear


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