Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
39. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to ensure that peatlands are harvested in such a way that they are in the best possible condition for a planned and structured restoration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38653/21]
In relation to peat extraction, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has no involvement in its regulation. This is a planning process under the remit of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and an Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) license process, under the remit of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
In relation to planned and structured restoration of peatlands, on 7th September 2020, Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, published a report on the review of the use of Peat Moss in the Horticultural Industry. After the publication of this report, Minister Noonan established a working group that includes representatives from relevant Government Departments and State Agencies, Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations and industry stakeholders under an independent chairperson to examine the issues identified during the review. In this respect, the working group is addressing the key issues raised in the report itself, including the regeneration of the existing bogs for use in Paludiculture, Eco-Tourism, Carbon Farming, and Tree Farming as appropriate to optimise environmental outcomes.