LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature RBPS 05/2021
LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature Results-Based agri-environment Scheme (RBPS)
Information booklet May 2021
LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature aims to improve Ireland’s performance in conserving habitats, and in particular to improve the conservation status in the Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) Network of blanket bog, a priority habitat under the Habitats Directive. It will build on the successes of locally adapted programmes, including EU-funded LIFE and European Innovation Partnerships (EIP), to work with farmers, local communities and other stakeholders to create resilience within rural communities in the light of our biodiversity and climate crises.
Central to the project is a pilot Results-Based Payment Scheme (RBPS) which will reward participating farmers for environmental services – including biodiversity, water quality and carbon storage and sequestration – by linking payments to the habitat quality. This rewards farmers for providing public services on their land whilst ensuring the flexibility to farm.
Farmer payments relate to ecological quality for their peatland, grassland and/or woodland habitats. The higher the quality of these habitats, the higher the payment the farmers receive. The quality of the watercourses associated with farm or commonage will also influence the final payment. This approach has the effect of creating a market for environmental services, and provides an opportunity and incentive for farmers to manage their farm to deliver better quality habitats. This approach differs from traditional agri-environment schemes (e.g. GLAS) where a flat-rate payment is made independent of environmental quality.
The exact timeframe of the Wild Atlantic Nature RBPS will depend on the outcome of the CAP Strategic Plan, which is due to commence in January 2023. The pilot project will be first launched in the Owenduff/Nephin Complex SAC in 2021 and will extend to other project blanket bog SACs in 2022. It will be run by the project team who will support farmers and their advisors.