IFA deputy president Brian Rushe.

IFA and Bord na Móna hold first virtual meeting of working group

The IFA and Bord na Móna Working Group held their first virtual meeting on the Peatland Climate Action Scheme last week.

IFA deputy president Brian Rushe said it was a positive first meeting: “I look forward to working closely with Bord na Móna over the next four years as the Peatland Climate Action Scheme rehabilitation works get under way in the 82 bogs identified.

“The scale of the project is ambitious, and the timeline for implementation short, particularly in light of the current Covid-19 restrictions.

“This limits opportunities for local farmers and communities to engage with the process fully,” said Mr Rushe.

At the meeting, Bord na Móna gave a presentation on the Peatland Climate Action Scheme, which provided insight into the planning process, hydrological assessments, and the management of previous rehabilitation projects.

The IFA deputy president said it “was beneficial to receive detailed information about the scheme but that many questions remained unanswered”.

He said farmers have significant concerns and Bord na Móna would have to address them.

During the meeting, it was agreed that Bord na Móna would:

• Provide written responses to the questions asked by farmers from the Q&A session at the recent IFA meeting on bog re-wetting;

• Give an overview of the hydrological assessment, including the procedures for estimating and predicting water on a specific site.

The Working Group will meet again in late March to continue to review the implementation of the Peatland Climate Action Scheme, particularly in the 19 bogs proposed for rehabilitation in 2021.

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