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Flow Country Green Finance Initiative...

Flow Country Green Finance Initiative

Flow Country Green Finance Initiative

Scotland, UK, Europe
The Flow Country in the far north of Scotland is home to the largest, intact blanket peat bog in Europe. It stores 400 million tonnes of carbon - more than double the amount of all UK forests and woodlands. An important wildlife habitat for many rare species, it is being considered for UNESCO world heritage designation.

Peatlands have a remarkable ability to store carbon, if kept in a healthy condition. But without restoration the Flow Country risks contributing to, rather than helping to reverse, climate change. The Flow Country Green Finance Initiative (FCGFI) is a locally-led initiative to raise money to restore peatlands at scale. They aim to deliver ecological restoration, sustainable land use and support circular business through an innovative community carbon investment model. 

With the hope of using World Heritage Site status (if inscribed) as the catalyst for upscaling private investment into restoration, investment into FCGFI will help achieve key net-zero climate goals for Scotland. By taking a holistic approach beyond carbon, supporting biodiversity, green jobs and community wellbeing in a historically and culturally significant landscape, the FCGFI hopes to achieve above market-rate returns on carbon credits. 

A Four-Spotted Chaser dragonfly, Libellula quadrimaculata, at rest, Forsinard Nature Reserve, Flow Country, Scotland ©espy3008, Adobe Stock
A Four-Spotted Chaser dragonfly, Libellula quadrimaculata, at rest, Forsinard Nature Reserve, Flow Country, Scotland ©espy3008, Adobe Stock

The Flow Country has been identified as a scalable project, using a landscape-scale, blended finance investment model, co-designed with the Flow Country Partnership - the local governing body overseeing the green finance activities.

A major milestone was reached in February 2024 with the legal establishment of the Flow Country Partnership as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) (due to be formally launched later this year). The SCIO will safeguard the interests of the community and ensure the channelling of community benefit from the income generated via sale of carbon credits as a result of peatland restoration. Its incorporation, with the Landscape Finance Lab’s assistance, marks a significant achievement in enhancing and accelerating the ability of local leadership to drive sustainable investment in the region. 

The Lab's involvement in day to day FCGFI activities ended in March 2024 with the delivery of a Business Plan and Financial Model providing operational guidance and a business case for engaging investors in the Flow Country, marking a conclusion to our incubation process. We continue to support in a limited role around investor partnerships and cross-landscape learning.

© Graham Neville/NatureScot
© Graham Neville/NatureScot
Total Area
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180,000 hectares
Ecosystem Type
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Wetlands & Peatlands
Wetlands & Peatlands
activity types
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Carbon storage and/or sequestration
Peatland restoration
Regenerative agriculture
Landscape Approaches
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Payment for Ecosystem Services Programmes
Green economy landscape
Ecosystem restoration landscape
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funding Source
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Incubation stage
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Sustainable Development Goals
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Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Goal 13: Climate action
Goal 15: Life on land
Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals