Funding Acknowledgement

29/02/2024 4:20pm

Funding Acknowledgement

We're delighted to announce our Green Finance Initiative project has secured significant support from NatureScot, through the Facility for Investment Ready Nature in Scotland (FIRNS), in collaboration with The Scottish Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

This initiative is a collaboration between the North Highland Initiative and partners including NatureScot, Landscape Finance Lab, UHI Environmental Research Institute, RSPB, Highland Council, and Highlands & Islands Enterprise / Focus North.

This synergy of support and partnership showcases a united commitment towards achieving Net Zero objectives and enriching Scotland's natural heritage. The Flow Country, celebrated for its globally significant peatlands, serves as the focal point for our endeavours. Through this collaborative framework, we aim to leverage the Flow Country's significant potential as a hub for green finance and sustainable land management, showcasing the strength and innovation possible when organisations unite for a common environmental cause with a strong community benefit ethos.

The project seeks to demonstrate a sustainable model of financing peatland restoration that offers comprehensive environmental benefits that extend beyond carbon sequestration. Our approach is community-centric, ensuring that the commercial gains from carbon credits not only contribute to the global fight against climate change but also bring tangible benefits to local communities in the North Highlands.

To demonstrate the viability of our model, we are focusing on three pilot sites, each chosen for its unique characteristics and relevance to the wider goals of peatland restoration. These comprise a mixed hill farm, a mixed farming and sporting estate, and a common grazings site. These sites will serve as the testing ground for a blended finance model, seeking to combine Peatland ACTION funding, private investment, and the sale of carbon credits through the Peatland Code. This innovative financial structure aims to provide a sustainable return for landowners and investors while showcasing the potential for large-scale peatland restoration, and the provision of community benefit. 

Our approach is not without its challenges, particularly in navigating the complexities of land ownership, emerging carbon markets, patterns of land use, and crofting law. However, these pilot projects are more than just restoration efforts; they are setting out to demonstrate a feasible pathway, and a precedent for future landscape scale restoration.  The funding provided through FIRNS, in collaboration with The Scottish Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund is therefore vital in allowing the development of the novel mechanisms needed to allow this to succeed.

The North Highland Initiative is a key partner in this project, supporting the collective efforts of the Flow Country Green Finance Initiative as it moves towards formal legal recognition. This partnership symbolises a shared commitment to environmental stewardship and tangible socio-economic benefit to local communities.

This initiative is more than just a conservation effort; it's a model for future environmental and community development projects in Scotland and beyond.

For more information on our progress and the wider impact of the Flow Country Green Finance Initiative, please stay connected with us through our website and social media channels.

This project is supported by The Facility for Investment Ready Nature in Scotland (FIRNS). Delivered by NatureScot in collaboration with The Scottish Government and in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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