Wales to triple peatland restoration

Snowdonia scene with wetland and peaks in the distance
The Biodiversity Deep Dive has identified key themes and recommendations for specific actions to support natures recovery in Wales.

The Welsh Government commissioned a ‘Biodiversity Deep Dive’ to assess how nature recovery across land and sea can best be accelerated, and has set out recommendations, including the tripling of peatland restoration targets while promising further action to restore Wales’ wildlife and plants.

The Deep Dive, released ahead of the UN Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Canada in December, were developed from the United Nation’s ’30 by 30’ goal, to protect and effectively manage 30% of the planet’s marine and 30% of the planet’s terrestrial environment by 2030. This is one of a number of targets which form part of a new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) to be agreed at COP15 in December 2022.

The Welsh government has agreed that restoring Wales’ peat bogs, moors and mires are a priority, which are key for carbon storage, alleviating flooding risk by slowing the flow of water from uplands, and providing vital habitat for wildlife including curlew, skylark and golden plover. The National Peatland Action Programme target is being tripled from 600 hectares a year to 1,800, in order to reach the scale of restoration by 2030 needed to reach the net zero 2050 target of 45,000 hectares of peatland restored.

The Biodiversity Deep Dive also consists of recommendations to:

  • Improve and increase Wales’ protected sites portfolio with increased connectivity so that plants and wildlife are able to travel and adapt to climate change.
  • New ‘Nature Recovery Exemplar Areas’  – Create a network of areas across a range of different semi-natural habitats. Also identify opportunities of Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs).
  • Increase the footprint of the Marine Protected Areas network.
  • Enable designated landscapes (National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) to deliver more for nature.
  • Ensure and incentivise inclusion of biodiversity in land and marine planning decisions.
  • Increase capacity building, behaviour change, awareness raising and skills development.
  • Develop and adapt monitoring and evidence frameworks to measure progress against the 30 by 30 goals.

Read more about the recommendation in the Biodiversity Deep Dive Written Statement from the Welsh Government.