Public information meetings for farmers on the EU-funded LIFE Wild Atlantic Nature integrated project
Two public information meetings will be held in Donegal next week on the Wild Atlantic Nature project.
The EU-funded Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE (IP) Integrated Project is a nine-year (2021-2029) environmental project led by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
It aims to improve Ireland’s performance in habitat conservation, and in particular to improve conservation status in the network of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) of blanket bogs, a priority habitat under the Habitats Directive.
The focus is on 35 Natura 2000 sites in the North West of Ireland. The project works with farmers and local communities to conserve and improve the quality of blanket bogs and associated habitats, and the ecosystem services they provide, including drinking water, carbon storage and biodiversity.
As part of the project, a pilot Result-Based Agri-Environmental Payment (RBPS) program will be linked to habitat quality, placing the landowner, their skills, expertise and knowledge of their land at the heart of development. of this project. . The project will also implement a number of actions aimed at strengthening broader community engagement in the project.
These include creating local support groups at project sites, developing and implementing community knowledge exchange programs, administering community outreach activities, developing an education program education, help communities develop and manage tourism and recreational activities and develop appropriate infrastructure. Another key project action will be a national campaign to increase public awareness and appreciation of the Irish Natura 2000 network.
Other actions will include site surveys, ecological assessments, training for concrete conservation actions, invasive species control, fire prevention, water management, and monitoring and evaluation.
As part of the project, a pilot agro-environmental project is underway in Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. In 2021, SAC’s initial target area of Owenduff, Mayo saw a fantastic response from 170 farmers participating in the program.
Now new target areas are being investigated in Donegal, namely SAC Slieve Tooey and Lough Nillan in Donegal.
Briefings for farmers in target areas in Donegal will be held at the Meenaneary Community Hall, Carrick for the target area of Slieve Tooey on Monday, while on Tuesday 5 April the Highlands Hotel in Glenties will host the target area of the Lough Nilian.
Both meetings take place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The meetings will allow participants to meet the project team, learn more about the agri-environmental scheme and how this pilot scheme will be able to feed new cooperation projects from 2023.