The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting research proposals to explore land management and nitrous oxide from peatlands.

Proposals will come under the topic: ‘Analysis of terrestrial GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions and removals and wider impacts of land management and peatland restoration on Ireland’s nitrogen cycle – nitrous oxide’.

This project is expected to start in late August 2022 and is co-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM).

The submission deadline is Wednesday June 1, 2022 and the budget for the three-year project is €400,000.

EPA research

The state is investing over €127 million in a large-scale peatland-restoration projects overseen by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Bord na Móna (BnM).

The NPWS Peatlands Restoration Programme and the BnM Enhanced Decommissioning Restoration and Rehabilitation Scheme give effect to commitments in the Climate Action Plan 2021.

Additionally, BnM and other state bodies have been awarded €9.9 million under the EU LIFE Programme Peatlands and People project in support of transitioning from peat harvesting.

It is expected that these investments help Ireland towards meeting national 2030 targets.

Peatlands project

The project into nitrous oxide in peatlands will require certain methods of assessment.

Researchers will be required to:

  • Review approaches to measurement, reporting and verification of terrestrial GHG emissions and removals from land with a focus on carbon-rich soils, such as peatlands, in the context of systems in place in Ireland, Europe and globally, as well as the guidance provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and emerging policies and actions to restore peatlands and wider enhancement of carbon sequestration and emission reduction;
  • Evaluate the development and application of terrestrial system models and the integration of advanced observational data streams, including in-situ and remote data, in providing independent analysis of GHG emissions and removals;
  • Establish links between analysis of GHG emissions and removals in Ireland at a range of scales.