Expressions of Interest Solicited from West Mayo Farmers for a Results-Based Payment System
Wild Atlantic Nature has called for expressions of interest from farmers in the SAC area of ââthe Owenduff / Nephin complex to participate in a new pilot results-based payment program.
LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature aims to improve Ireland’s performance in conserving important habitats, and in particular improving the conservation status of the cover peatland Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) network, a priority habitat under the EU Habitats Directive.
At the heart of the project is a pilot results-based payment system (RBPS) that will reward participating farmers for environmental services – including biodiversity, water quality and carbon storage and sequestration – by linking housing quality payments.
When a farmer (or a group of farmers) wishes to carry out actions to improve the quality of the habitat, additional funding is available.
This rewards farmers who provide public services on their land while giving them the flexibility to farm.
It also offers an opportunity to strengthen the resilience of farming communities in and around Natura 2000 sites.
Speaking about the launch of the program, project manager Derek McLoughlin said: âWe see this as an exciting opportunity for farmers to gain first-hand experience of how results-based approaches work.
“It is hoped that the results of the pilot can be used to inform future agri-environment programs, including the common agricultural policy”.
The pilot project will first be launched in the Owenduff / Nephin SAC complex in 2021 for a limited number of participants who will be selected after receipt of expressions of interest.
It will expand to other project areas in 2022. It builds on the successes of other locally adapted programs, including LIFE and the EU-funded European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) to work with farmers , local communities and others to build resilience within rural communities to light. our biodiversity and the climate crisis.
Gary Goggins, a member of the project team, explained: âThe results-based approach adopted in this pilot project creates a market for vital environmental services such as clean water and biodiversity.
âThis approach differs from traditional agri-environmental systems where a lump sum payment is made regardless of quality. Linking payments to environmental quality is a win-win solution for farmers working in priority habitats and for nature in these areas. “
Farmers who wish to apply to participate in the program simply need to complete and submit an Expression of Interest form to the project team.
The form is available from the project team or on the website (www.wildatlanticnature.ie). The final selection of participants is based on selected criteria, including the extent of land in the target sites, geographic distribution and the notable presence of ecologically important features.
Farmers with private and / or common land are welcome. The deadline for expressions of interest is June 10.