The Nature Trust today announced the restoration of 500 hectares of blanket bog in the west of Ireland. We’ve donated €2.5 million in funding to support the initiative from our Right Now Climate Fund, dedicated to enhancing biodiversity and to conserve, restore and improve nature in communities where we operate.
The Nature Trust will use the donation to rehabilitate 500 hectares of degraded Atlantic blanket bog in the west of Ireland. The aim of the work is to restore a functioning peatland habitat by creating the conditions for bog-forming mosses to grow.
Atlantic blanket bog is an important habitat for many species of plants, insects, amphibians, birds and mammals, including protected species such as golden plover, Greenland white-fronted goose, and the marsh fritillary butterfly. However, the majority of Ireland’s blanket bogs are in poor condition due to a range of human activities.
Blanket bogs occur in areas of consistently high rainfall where the ground surface is waterlogged for much of the time, resulting in the development of deep peats. With healthy bogs containing up to 90% water, they act as a natural water storage and filtration system. As a result, this restoration also has the potential to regulate water flow, improve local water quality and reduce the risk of flooding.
“Restoring peatlands at scale is expensive but it can provide great returns for climate and biodiversity,” said Ciarán Fallon, Managing Director at The Nature Trust. “We welcome this donation from Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund which will allow us to carry out a large-scale restoration project on 500 hectares of degraded Atlantic blanket bog. Our focus now will be to identify appropriate sites and to conduct extensive surveying including hydrology and ecology assessments and measurement of peat depths.”
“As well as being vital to biodiversity, peatlands are highly efficient at absorbing carbon,” said Zak Watts, Director of EU Sustainability at Amazon. “As a means to fight climate change, there is no greater natural solution in Ireland. I am thrilled to be providing our first Right Now Climate Fund donation in Ireland to support The Nature Trust’s peatland restoration, which will help deliver numerous climate benefits, now and in the future."
Ireland’s climate targets
Peatlands cover 21% of Ireland’s land area and 64% of Ireland’s total soil organic carbon stock. They remain the largest store of carbon in the Irish landscape. Peatland restoration is reported as having the greatest nature-based impact on Ireland’s net-zero objectives, with the potential to reduce national emissions by up to 7% per year. At present, their degraded status means they currently emit over 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The Irish government’s Climate Action Plan recognises that restoring peatlands will deliver a range of climate benefits through reduced carbon emissions, long-term carbon storage and enhanced resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Amazon created the $100 million global Right Now Climate Fund in 2019, dedicating €20 million to projects across Europe. The Fund was set up to support nature-based solutions, which is in addition to the work we are doing to decarbonise our business. Funding of the project in the West of Ireland follows investment in a nature and wildlife restoration fund in France, a reforestation programme in Italy, an urban greening programme in Germany and a rewilding and tree planting project in the UK. Additionally, Amazon has allocated $15 million to projects in the APAC region from the Fund.
 The Status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland, Department of Culture, Hertage and the Gaeltacht, 2019, pg 33: https://www.npws.ie/sites/default/files/publications/pdf/NPWS_2019_Vol1_Summary_Article17.pdf
 Climate Action Plan 2023, Government of Ireland, pg 235: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/7bd8c-climate-action-plan-2023/
 Peatland Finance Ireland, Baseline Report, Deliverable 2 of TA Assignment No. AA-010612-001 for the EIB Natural Capital Finance Facility, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1E_D94Bmng9yD-YxObf0Y3hojx-qMV5pR/view?usp=sharing