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Flow Country Green Finance Initiative Begins First Steps and Consultations 

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Members of the Flow Country partnership are at the early stages of creating a Green Finance Initiative, looking at ways the peatlands can provide financial benefits to local communities.

Flow Country partnership members are hosting a series of drop-in sessions and are inviting people to join them to discuss green finance and peatland restoration.

The sessions which take place in venues at Lairg, Thurso, Strathy and Wick will run between February 27 and March 2, 2023.

Where and when?

  • Lairg Community Centre: Monday, February 27, 4-7pm
  • Thurso Library: Tuesday, February 28, 4-7pm
  • Strathy Village Hall: Wednesday, March 1 , 4-7pm
  • Wick Pulteney Centre: Thursday, March 2, 4-7pm

The local area is incredible: the Flows’ blanket bog stores 400 million tonnes of carbon, but this remarkable ability to store carbon is only possible if the bogs are kept in healthy condition.

The carbon and wider biodiversity potential of the Flows is valuable – and interest in investing in environmentally friendly projects (‘green finance’) and carbon/biodiversity credits is growing.

But so is the anxiety about future land management and external influences on local livelihoods.

In response to the growth in local and external interest in peatland restoration, biodiversity, and carbon credits, a group of local organisations has come together to think through how to put together a Green Finance Initiative (GFI) for the Flow Country.

The Flow Country GFI aims to address these concerns and to work out a model of financial return from our peatlands that would offer clear pathways to benefit local communities, as well as enable us to tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.

For example, by working together to develop a cohesive community approach to peatland restoration projects, The Flow Country GFI believes it can:

  • get a higher price for carbon credits
  • develop clear ethical finance rules
  • reduce the admin burden for projects
  • promote skills development and local jobs
  • and ensure a percentage of the profits goes back to locally beneficial projects.

The GFI brings together representatives from the North Highland Initiative, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Council, RSPB Scotland, University of Highlands and Islands, NatureScot, Caithness Voluntary Group, VisitScotland and the Landscape Finance Lab to brainstorm ideas.

The events will operate an open door policy and people are invited to join partners for a cup of tea and a biscuit, and ask questions.

There will also be an online drop in session on 7 March between 2-4pm. 

Register at https://form.typeform.com/to/C9qdj6po for a half hour slot to come and chat, or use this QR code to take you to the registration form.

The GFI is at the early idea stages, and partners encourage engagement, will listen to concerns, and chat through what your vision for the future of the Flows looks like.

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