Funding and Regulations
The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications has approved ongoing grant funding up to €108 million to Bord na Mona in relation to the enhanced rehabilitation of its peatlands under the Peatlands Climate Action Scheme. This funding is provided by the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility as part of Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU to help the EU emerge stronger and more resilient from the effects of the pandemic.
The scheme will be administered by DECC and regulated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. It will involve many other diverse stakeholders including, Bord na Móna, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), relevant NGOs, local authorities, representative organisations and importantly the local community.
The framework for the scheme has been developed by DECC in collaboration with the National Parks and Wildlife Services, the EPA and Bord Na Móna. The scheme will exclusively fund improvements that go above and beyond the steps required to fulfil Bord Na Móna’s IPC licence obligations.
Regulation of the scheme
The NPWS has been appointed regulator for the scheme, and will assess, on a bog-by-bog basis, the proposed enhanced rehabilitation improvements for climate, environmental, ecological and hydrological impacts. As regulator for the scheme, the NPWS will:
- ensure that all proposed improvements optimise climate, environmental, ecological and hydrological benefits;
- assess and advise DECC regarding the allowed costs for enhanced rehabilitation improvements that may be recouped by Bord na Móna under the scheme;
- ensure that all enhanced rehabilitation works carried out under the scheme are in line with the objectives of the scheme, and that costs have been appropriately incurred by Bord Na Móna; and
- ensure that there is no overlap between enhanced rehabilitation works and any obligations that Bord na Móna may have under the terms of its IPC licenses.
Under the scheme Bord Na Móna will submit a rehabilitation plan to NPWS for each bog to be rehabilitated. During the preparation of the individual rehabilitation plans for each of the identified 82 bogs covered by the scheme, Bord na Móna will actively engage with a broad range of stakeholders. Bord na Móna is planning on using a range of different communication tools and media for stakeholder engagement including direct mail shots, face to face meetings (subject to any COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in place), public advertisements, and a dedicated webpage with contact details of the liaison officer for each of the 82 individual bogs.