23 September 2023, UK: Work to drive the understanding of the importance of Scotland’s peatland to the natural environment and greenhouse gas emissions budgets by The James Hutton Institute’s peatland research team has been shortlisted in the Conservation Science Award at RSPB Scotland’s prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards.
The work of the team is enabling direct action, informing mitigation, restoration and protection efforts of peatlands. This has been through the production of a wide body of research by the Hutton’s interdisciplinary peatland team.
Dr Rebekka Artz, who leads the Restoration and Adaptive Management team at the Hutton, says, “We’re honoured to be shortlisted for this award amongst such a selection of impactful conservation science teams. The peatland research team at the Hutton is a truly fantastic group of people, who focus our combined energies on delivering scientific evidence with integrity and impact.
“The work across the team has contributed significantly to understanding the effectiveness of peatland restoration, the condition that peatlands as a quarter of our land mass is in, the greenhouse gas emissions from damaged peatlands and the mitigation potential and other ecosystem function gains that can be achieved through rewetting.
“This has included, for example, putting a first estimate on the total net losses of carbon from damaged peatlands in Scotland, which then supported the development of realistic targets for restoration. We pleased to have this work, which builds on decades of research, recognised.”
The Hutton’s peatland work was announced as a finalist in the Conservation Science Award this week at the Nature of Scotland Awards Shortlist Reception at the Scottish Parliament, hosted by Colin Smyth MSP and sponsored by Beam Suntory.
The 54 finalists will all gather at the EICC on the 22 November to enjoy a night of celebration, where the winners of all 10 categories will be announced.
The awards ceremony, now in its 12th year and co-sponsored by NatureScot, will be hosted by zoologist, TV presenter and RSPB Ambassador Megan McCubbin and TV presenter and nature enthusiast JJ Chalmers.
They will recognise the individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places.
Nature-lovers also have a chance to choose their winner of the Community Initiative Award, which celebrates projects developed and led by the people it serves. You can see the shortlist and vote for your favourite here.
Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “The Nature of Scotland Awards celebrates people and projects who really make a difference for nature in their local communities and across the country.
“Being at the head of the judging panel is a wonderful part of my job, as I get an unrivalled opportunity to hear about inspiring actions and the incredible things that can happen when people work together. – we can’t tackle the nature and climate crisis alone.
“I am so looking forward to seeing everyone at the awards in November, and would like to thank all of our applicants for sharing their tremendous work with us.”
Colin Galbraith, Chair of Awards co-sponsor NatureScot, said: “Our natural world is at the heart of the nation’s well-being, and this year’s shortlisted Nature of Scotland Awards nominees are shining examples of vital, nature-based solutions from people, communities, businesses and organisations across the country.
“As co-sponsor of the awards, we celebrate the inspiring efforts each and every nominee has contributed to Scotland’s mission to tackle biodiversity loss and the nature-climate crisis.”
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