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New conservation plan to create 70 jobs in the Midlands

Josepha Madigan, TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has announced the appointment of Bord no Móna to project manage the implementation of her Department’s 2020 national protected raised bog restoration programme.

€5 million has been allocated to restore more than 1,800 hectares and the campaign could create as many as 70 jobs in the Midlands.

Bord na Móna

Along with the implementation of the restoration programme, Bord na Móna will be tasked with providing other necessary professional services, undertaking the restoration measures and the installation of an eddy covariance flux tower at a designated raised bog site to monitor the fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).

The programme could create up to 70 jobs in the fields of including machine operation, engineering, hydrology, ecology, environmental science, site supervision, community liaising and in evaluating amenity development potential across the project area.

Peatlands

Minister Madigan commented on the announcement, saying: “Peatlands are hugely valuable ecosystems, important for preserving biodiversity and help to address climate change. Restoring our protected raised bogs will ensure that the carbon content of the peat within each bog is stored in perpetuity.”

“The national protected raised bog restoration programme links directly to an action in the Climate Action Plan 2019 for the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to restore/rewet approximately 22,107 hectares of protected raised bog.”

“Functioning peatlands capture (sequester) carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the form of peat and vegetation. When peatlands are drained or damaged, the peat oxidises, and the carbon is released back to the atmosphere. Peat oxidation can be stopped or reduced through the restoration of sites and hydrological management measures.”

“It is essential to keep the carbon stored in the ground and restore/rehabilitate their hydrological balance to return degraded peatlands to sinks or carbon neutral systems.”

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