My Department is responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of the National Peatlands Strategy, which I believe is one of the most advanced in Europe. This 10 year strategy sets out a cross-governmental approach to managing issues that relate to peatlands, including compliance with EU environmental law, climate change, forestry, flood control, energy, nature conservation, planning, and agriculture. The first progress report on the implementation of the National Peatlands Strategy was approved by the Government and published last year. Work on the second progress report is on-going with a view to publication by the end of this year or early in 2020.
I am advised that my Department was not in attendance at the European Peatland Strategy workshop held in Bonn in October last. Nor am I aware that my Department or its agencies were requested to support the attendance of civil society representatives at the workshop. Indeed, such requests would be unusual.