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Blair welcomes long overdue peatland consultation

Alliance Environment spokesperson John Blair MLA has welcomed the launch of a public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland Peatland Strategy 2021-2040.

Peatlands are among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth, yet our peatlands remain under threat. Locally, they face pressures such as overgrazing, drainage and burning, causing damage to 86 per cent of them. The result is many of our peatlands are now net emitters of greenhouse gases and only 14 per cent deemed intact in Northern Ireland.

“Investing in peatland restoration is critical. If we are serious about a green recovery and if we are to meet UK net zero commitments, large-scale investment in peatland restoration is essential,” said Mr Blair.

“Restoring our peatlands will require a collaborative approach involving government, landowners, land managers, public sector bodies and environmental protection stakeholders, supported by appropriate legislation and policies and with a robust funding mechanism in place.

“I would encourage everyone to engage in the consultation, which will shape policies and programmes aimed at protecting and enhancing our natural environment.”
 
The public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland Peatland Strategy 2021-2040 will be open for 12 weeks from June 9 until September 1 and is available on the DAERA website - https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/consultations/ni-peatland-strategy-consultation.