Participants at the Peatland Finance Solutions and Challenges worshop
Participants at the Peatland Finance Solutions and Challenges worshop
Two day workshop in Edinburgh sheds light on key challenges and opportunities for sustainable peatland landscapes.

Over two days in May, the Lab teamed up with our regular partners Climate Catalyst, WaterLANDS, and Flow Country Green Finance Initiative, to host two days of in-person workshops in Edinburgh's beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens, on the theme of peatland finance.

Day 1

On 10 May, we held a peer-focused session for practitioners of peatland restoration - including implementation organisations and landowning farmers - to share honest learnings of the successes and challenges they've faced in developing landscape-scale investment models and governance structures, and in ensuring equity for local communities through different benefit-sharing arrangements. Five pioneering peatland landscape programmes from across England, Scotland and Ireland came together to share their experiences, and uncovered great potential for cross-pollination and replication of methods and approaches. They also discussed hurdles all teams are facing, such as access to early stage funding; lack of public awareness around peatlands and their importance; mistrust from certain sectors of the community who fear nature restoration will impact livelihoods; and skills and capacity gaps within teams. The peer group is being brought together into a ‘Peatlands Collective’ Community of Practice around finance and enabling governance, and discussions will continue through virtual sessions, a dedicated online space, and future gatherings to share developments. 

Placeholder image caption
Placeholder image caption

Day 2

On 11 May, the peatland peer group were joined by wider stakeholders from the spheres of policy, academia, science and finance in an interactive session to showcase their restoration programmes and position them as leaders in developing new finance models that deliver returns for investors, nature and community. At the event, working groups came up with actions under 5 key themes to be taken forward: 

  • Awareness - from surfacing public champions to tapping into heritage and culture in public branding, and creating momentum through stories. 
  • Community benefits - sharing current community benefit models and analysing best practice. Also learning from the successes and pitfalls of the renewable sector's community benefit schemes. 
  • Developing investable pilots - using templates that can be replicated with support from government and private sector investments. 
  • Attracting finance at scale - developing a template financial proposal to the investment community which includes pathways for scaling, guidance on obtaining premium carbon prices, and aligning on the definition of 'restored'.

Aligning policy and incentives in the voluntary carbon market - from working with SBTi on clearer messaging to corporates, encouraging them to invest in nature based solutions this decade, to reducing barriers for private sector engagement.

Breakout groups workshopping solutions
Breakout groups workshopping solutions

Many thanks to everyone who attended, for their energy and optimism. There’s a bright future ahead for peatland restoration, if we harness the opportunities it presents!

A longer summary of key take-aways mentioned above will be published shortly. Register here to receive an email with the report.

If you are a practitioner working on a peatland landscape and would like to join the peatland finance peer learning group, get in touch here.

Register to receive an email with the report
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