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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-02392: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 9 September 2016

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the recent call by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for global action to be taken to halt the loss of and restore damaged peatlands, what action it is taking to ensure that Scotland’s peatlands are (a) protected and (b) restored.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 20 September 2016

The Scottish Government, along with Scottish Natural Heritage, published Scotland's National Peatland Plan in August 2015. The Peatland Plan establishes a framework in which the Scottish Government, along with SNH, are leading the way forward in the management, protection, and restoration of Scotland’s peatlands, and as a consequence, protects its biodiversity and ecosystems. The Peatland Plan established a National Peatland Group which involves partners such as the IUCN Peatland Inquiry to support its delivery and along with a Monitoring and Research Group ensuring an evidence base and helping future actions.

In addition to the protection afforded by the suite of Natural sites and SSSIs, specific actions in the Plan include Scottish Planning policy which provides protection for peatlands as well as the work funded by the Scottish Government, through its Strategic Research Programme and Centres of Expertise, to deliver multi-disciplinary research to improve our knowledge of peatlands. This knowledge is then used to develop new tools and approaches to support sustainable management and help achieve restoration targets. Funding to support peatland restoration and management is available through the Scottish Rural Development programme and SNH has supported more than 100 projects through its Peatland Action initiative.