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Sustainable Uplands Newsletter (Summer 2011)

Sustainable Uplands Newsletter (Summer 2011)

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Published by AberdeenCES
The Sustainable Uplands project is working with people across UK uplands to better anticipate and respond to future change. Highlights from this newsletter include:

* Uplands are at the forefront of Pay-ments for Ecosystem Services, with pay-ments for water and recreation already happening (page 3)
* New smart phone technology may make “visitor pay-back” schemes in the uplands more profitable and open up the hills to a new audience (page 6)
* We may be on the cusp of overcoming the necessary regu-latory barriers to make it possible pay for peatland resto-ration with carbon (page 3)
* The IUCN Commis-sion of Inquiry on Peatlands is coming to an end, and pointing to a more sustainable future for upland peat landscapes (page 2)
The Sustainable Uplands project is working with people across UK uplands to better anticipate and respond to future change. Highlights from this newsletter include:

* Uplands are at the forefront of Pay-ments for Ecosystem Services, with pay-ments for water and recreation already happening (page 3)
* New smart phone technology may make “visitor pay-back” schemes in the uplands more profitable and open up the hills to a new audience (page 6)
* We may be on the cusp of overcoming the necessary regu-latory barriers to make it possible pay for peatland resto-ration with carbon (page 3)
* The IUCN Commis-sion of Inquiry on Peatlands is coming to an end, and pointing to a more sustainable future for upland peat landscapes (page 2)

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Published by: AberdeenCES on Jul 11, 2011
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Newsletter
Summer 2011the policy and practitionercommunities, and help thesecommunities make betteruse of the research commu-nity. For more informationabout this phase of thework, click here. 
 What is the Sustainable Uplands project?News in brief 
The Sustainable Uplandsproject is working withpeople across UK uplandsto better anticipate andrespond to future change.In its first phase (2005-2009), the project exploreda range of different futuresfor UK uplands. This in-cluded a future where farm-ers effectively become wild-life and carbon managers,and one where concernsover food security lead toan emphasis on producingfood from the uplands.To do this, the team con-ducted natural science re-search into the carbon,biodiversity and hydrologyof upland systems, linked tomodels showing how landmanagers are likely to reactto different scenarios.The second phase (2009-10)focussed on disseminatingresearch findings, creatingvideos, policy briefs and aninteractive website.The third and current phaseof the project (2010-present) is exploring whatmakes research findings getinto policy and practice
 – 
ornot. By studying case studiesfrom across the UK, theproject will develop guide-lines that can help research-ers conduct research that ismore useful for members of 
 Joe Holden from our team haspublished new evidence that blanketbog restoration reduces erosion andfluvial carbon loss:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21440287.Joe also chaireda debate broadcast live on soilcarbon and policy requirements;http://t.co/42SjZzp.Joe's new book "Physical Geography, the basics" isalso now available at:http://tinyurl.com/3nasphx We led the Mountains, Moors &Heaths chapter of a report commis-
sioned by DEFRA on “barriers &
opportunities to Payments for
Ecosystem Services” which fed into
the development of the White Paperon the Natural Environment
 
The Mountains Moors & Heathschapter of the National EcosystemAssessment was co-authored by amember of the Sustainable Uplandsteam, and featured a number of findings from the Sustainable Up-lands project:http://uknea.unep-wcmc.org We contributed to an influential StGeorge's House consultation on"securing a positive future for Eng-lish uplands" - the full document(with foreword by HRH PrinceCharles) is available at:http://bit.ly/mIFsa5 Sustainable Uplands evidence toEFRA inquiry on farming in theuplands which was cited in theirreport:http://tinyurl.com/6jgnrjm 
 
Findings from the Sustainable Uplandsproject were presented to an audienceof policy advisors and agency staff atScottish Government in April on"Enabling citizen choices about land usethe natural environment". The presenta-tion is available at:http://slidesha.re/flAc3B and a policybrief can be downloaded here:http://tinyurl.com/69wgf4q New contributions are coming into ourinteractive website:www.ouruplands.co.uk  - find out whatuplands mean to others, and share yourthoughts in text, audio, photo or videoA summary of Sustainable Uplands keyfindings to date is available at:http://slidesha.re/hKFsZz 
 
Key Points
Uplands are at theforefront of Pay-ments for EcosystemServices, with pay-ments for water and recreation already happening.
Page 3
 New smart phonetechnology may 
make “visitor pay-back” schemes in
the uplands more profitable and openup the hills to a new audience.
Page 6
 We may be on thecusp of overcoming the necessary regu-latory barriers tomake it possible pay for peatland resto-ration with carbon
Page 3 and enclosed Policy Brief 
 The IUCN Commis-sion of Inquiry onPeatlands is coming to an end, and  pointing to a moresustainable futurefor upland peatlandscapes.
Page 2
 
 
Project researchers consider the future of UK peatlands
damaged peatlands eachyear. There are also con-cerns about emissions of highly potent greenhousegas methane from rewettedpeatlands. However, evi-dence suggests that it ispossible to halt the loss of carbon from peatlandthrough habitat restoration,and that methane emissionsare likely to be small in rela-tion to the overall green-house gas benefits fromrestoring peatlands. Moreinfo at:http://www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme.org/commission/climatechange 
Burning Management
The review on the impactsof burning management onpeatlands examines effectson biodiversity, and at-tempts to identify speciesthat benefit from and sufferas a result of burning. TheReview Team looks at theimpact of burning on watermanagement, on greenhousegas fluxes, and in particularthe change in biomass andthe development of charunder managed burning.Finally, the Review examinesthe socio-economic impactsof burning management andthe extent to which burningincreases grouse produc-tion, manages wildfire,whether it can increasesheep production and whatthe public perception of prescribed burning is. Moreinfo at:http://www.iucn-uk-peatlandpro-gramme.org/commission/burning 
 
The Sustainable Uplandsproject led three of thetechnical reviews commis-sioned by the InternationalUnion for Nature Conserva-
tion’s (IUCN) Peatland Pro-
gramme, who launched theirCommission of Inquiry onPeatlands in June.
Policy Options
Mark Reed led a group of 20experts who examined cur-rent and future policy meas-ures affecting the sustainablemanagement of peatlands.The Review looks at existingconservation and landscapedesignations, national strate-gies, planning and other legalframeworks, codes of prac-tice and provide an assess-ment of exemplars of goodpractice. The Review alsolooks at potential futurepolicy developments at UK,European and Internationallevels. It discusses outputsfrom the Sustainable Up-lands project in relation topeatland sustainability inboth uplands and lowlands;reviews current approachesto information provision andcapacity building for sustain-able peatland management;and explores the potentialfor future land managementpayments in UK and EUpeatlands to be basedaround Payments for Eco-system Services (PES). Toread the full review or ac-cess an executive summaryor video, visit:http://www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme.org/commission/policy 
Climate Change
Fred Worrall led reviews onclimate change and managedburning on peatlands. Tenmillion tonnes of carbondioxide are lost to the at-
mosphere from the UK’s
 
Page 2
The IUCNCommission of Inquiry onPeatlands iscoming to an end,and pointing to amore sustainablefuture for upland peat landscapes A quarter of global soil carbon is held in peatlands. A lossof 1.5% peatlandsis equivalent to all the carbon emis-sions humans cre-ate worldwide in a year 
 
Payments for ecosystemservices in the uplands
tion of carbon in the atmos-phere, such as peatland res-toration. The SustainableUplands project has beendeveloping the evidence baseto show how restorationaffects carbon storage inpeat soils, and consideringhow we can ensure such
work doesn’t compromise
the other benefits we rely onuplands to provide.A policy brief has been de-veloped to consider ways toovercome regulatory hurdlesand initiate restoration viapayments for carbon(availablehere).
For further informationon PES in uplands:
Payments for upland Ecosys-tem Services video:http://t.co/esYs7QF Summary of the 5 opportuni-ties for PES in the uplands:http://www.slideshare.net/AberdeenCES/potential-for-payments-for-ecosystem-services-in-uk-uplands 
 
The focus of the SustainableUplands project is to preparefor the future land manage-ment of the uplands. Oneaspect of land managementthat is already in place, andhoping to be expanded, is the
idea of “payments for ecosys-tem services”. Payments for
Ecosystem Services (PES) isthe idea that there should befinancial recognition of thebenefits various environ-mental services provide tosociety. PES may take onvarious different forms, rang-ing from incentives beingoffered to farmers and landmanagers to make land usedecisions that do not harm orinterrupt ecosystem servicesto a simple donation to use awalking route. PES offers theopportunity to conserve na-ture and the uplands are aprime example of a landscapewhich has the potential toprotect valuable ecosystemservices. There are severalopportunities for PES in theuplands, including:Climate regulationthrough carbon seques-tration and storage inpeat soilsRegulation of water qual-ityRegulation of wildfire risk Cultural ecosystem ser-vicesThere are payments alreadybeing made for upland ecosys-tem services through privateinvestment. The team is work-ing with DEFRA to identifyways to overcome barriers toexpand and enhance the op-portunity for future paymentsto be made.The first phase of the Sustain-able Uplands project exploredthe different futures possiblefor the uplands, including onethat saw farmers becomingwildlife and carbon managers.As carbon managers, farmerswould become involved in car-bon sequestration, where pay-ments would be made for thestorage of carbon in peat soilsand the restoration of peat-lands. Market demand for car-bon sequestration and storagethrough peatland restorationand management is positive andgrowing, with the main sourceof payments coming from indi-viduals and companies. Theidea of corporate responsibilityto the environment is the pri-mary factor in the desire forcompanies to offset their car-bon emissions by paying forprojects that lead to a reduc-
Page 3
Peatland resto-ration costsless per tonneof carbonabatement than insulating homes1 hectare of peatland canabsorb theequivalent of 4return tripsLondon-Edinburgh by car every year 

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