Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Monday, 1 November 2010

Peatlands member's debate

SNP MSP Rob Gibson called for peatland restoration to be championed at the heart of government and said that action taken now could prevent massive future costs arising from the breakdown of peatland ecosystems.

Mr Gibson was leading a member's debate on the future of peatlands on 4 November 2010.

The MSP for Highlands and Islands said Scotland led the way in peatland restoration after the decision of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to base its peatland programme in Scotland.

He added that peatlands delivered multiple benefits for biodiversity, water and climate and that they could deliver significant economic benefits to local communities through encouraging visitors.

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said the Scottish government were currently preparing a position paper on peatlands and carbon rich soils and she planned to release it next month.

Ms Cunningham said the paper would recognise protection for peatlands and that she hoped a peatlands strategy could be agreed.


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