The following 7 projects have been selected for IRNS funding. Unsuccessful bids will be provided with feedback on their application in the coming days.
Trees AI Glasgow Pilot (Dark Matter Labs):
Blue/green infrastructure for urban flood management
TreesAI (owned by Dark Matter Labs a private not-for-profit multidisciplinary design team developing new working methods for system change) is leading the TreesAI Glasgow Partnership that is comprised by:
- The Glasgow City Council
- Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
- FloodRe a UK re-insurer specialised in floods
- Nationwide the world’s largest building society
- Clyde Climate Forest an initiative launched in 2021, aims to see 18 million trees planted across Glasgow City Region,
- Scottish Water
- LucidMinds a R&D collective developing solutions supported by artificial intelligence and simulations, based in Amsterdam.
- Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership a partnership formed by organisations involved with the operation of the sewerage and drainage network within Glasgow area.
This Pilot aims to launch a portfolio of Nature-based Solutions projects to address the region’s climate-related risks(Street trees, woodlands, Sustainable urban Drainage Systems, preservation of Trees in Vacant and Derelict Land…). The developed blue/green infrastructures) will deliver water-related ecosystem services such as stormwater retention and natural flood management and as a secondary focus carbon, biodiversity and other socio-economic co-benefits.
The main objective is to develop a model to reduce expected annual costs of flooding and create significant cost savings and future resilience to damages related to regional flooding through a portfolio of urban Nature-based Solutions. The model would allow to fund there blue/green infrastructures and would replicable across various NbS typologies, benefits and geographies.
Glencripesdale temperate rainforest restoration project : Biodiversity Net Gain Projects and Credits applicable to Scotland’s Rainforest
The Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest’s Natural Capital Investment Group will lead the partnership that will include RSPB and SRUC’s Thriving Natural Capital Challenge Centre
The partnership will focus on restoring the Glencripesdale rainforest site on the Morvern Peninsula and will aim at assessing and verifying the positive impact of rainforest restoration work on biodiversity. Novel scientific methods will be tested and provide evidence that can support the development of Biodiversity Gain (BNG) credits, which could be then qualified by the Scottish Biodiversity Metric, once policy makers have it finalised.
The project will also develop and test funding mechanisms for the general public and investment models for corporates through opportunities offered by Biodiversity Gains/Credits in Rainforest whether trough a blended approach or trough 100% private sources.
Nature Positive Offsets (RSPB): Exploring the Delivery of Nature Positive Biodiversity Offsetting in Scotland
This is a RSPB initiative but a partnership is to be explored with Scottish Wildlife Trust and National Trust for Scotland.
RSPB wants to explore the concept of ‘a ‘gold standard’ ethical investment model for Biodiversity Gain in Scotland that can be replicated by other eNGOs and landowners. This project would lean on NatureScot’s development of policies around Biodiversity Gain in Scotland and Scotland’s Draft National Planning Framework 4.
The project will focus on offsite and landscape scale Biodiversity Gain, focusing on the most premium quality possible. The project will also explore how land can best be ‘banked’ in the public interest and how it could be delivering biodiversity net gain over the long term (‘in perpetuity’). The project will not focus only on land-based biodiversity but also explore marine based biodiversity.
Tarras Valley natural capital classroom (Langholm Initiative): creation of a natural capital laboratory
Langholm Initiative is a development trust that was able to acquire, with the support of the local community, 10,500 acres of the Langholm Moor through South of Scotland’s largest community buyout. The area was developed into the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve a first for a community buyout.
The project will look at refurbishing existing buildings within the reserve’s grounds to establish a research base and associated accommodation. Academics, students, visitors and volunteers (local and international) will provide the initiative with income streams to sustain the reserve and to reinvest back into biodiversity, peatland and woodland restoration projects, regenerative agriculture and the regeneration of the town. These projects will also benefit from the research, technological advances and hands on volunteer work from thee refurbished facilities, providing a perfect ‘classroom’ to involve a wider range of stakeholders.
Flow Country Green Finance Initiative (North Highland Initiative/The Flow Country Partnership): landscape scale community lead peatland restoration
The Flow Country Partnership is delivering the Green Finance Initiative, through a Steering Group which comprises the:
- Highland Council
- Highlands & Islands Enterprise
- Landscape Finance Lab
- UHI North Highland’s Environmental Research Institute
The Flow Country Partnership has a track record of successful community and environment-oriented transformational projects, including the £11M Heritage Lottery funded Flows to the Future project (2014-2019). A key achievement of the Flow Country Partnership has been the progression of a bid to become the first peatland in the world to secure UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Flow Country, located in the north of Scotland, is the largest blanket peat bog in Europe. It is an important wildlife habitat and stores 400 million tonnes of carbon – more than twice the amount in all of Britain’s woodlands.
The Flow Country Green Finance Initiative (GFI) aims to develop a replicable model that can, at scale, restore peatlands, while offering socio-economic opportunities. The GFI is a locally led initiative that aims to raise a blend of public and private finance to help restore peat bogs across the Flow Country. Ultimately, the GFI will help support community development goals, create high quality jobs, support local businesses, and grow green jobs across the area
Loch Lomond & Trossachs NP: landscape scale green finance beyond carbon
The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Parks is working in partnership with the Landscape Finance Lab to develop further the learnings acquired from the National Park’s own work on green finance through the Revere partnership and the Lab’s work on The Flow Country Green Finance Initiative and EU WaterLANDS initiative.
The work will focus on 5 different landscape scale restoration projects covering a considerable part of the park and tackling the key challenges of grazing pressure, Invasive Non Native species, climate change and water quality. The main purpose is to develop and monetise ecosystem services beyond carbon and specifically targeting biodiversity, agriculture and eco-tourism to build applicable financial and business models.
Crichton Carbon Centre: Natural capital realised (valuing and validating natural capital benefits of forest to bog restoration)
The Crichton Carbon Centre is leading a partnership comprising:
- Galloway Fisheries Trust
- Forest Carbon Ltd (UK expert in voluntary carbon woodland projects)
- Andrew Moxey, Pareto Consulting (member of the Technical Advisory Board of Peatland Code)
- Ian McCreath, Private Landowner, Moss of Cree
The Crichton Carbon Centre (CCC) founded in 2007 is an environmental charity with the aim of turning research and sound scientific understanding to action on the ground. This project is centred around Moss of Cree (southwest of Scotland) and would focus on bringing a better understanding around the restoration of previously planted peatlands back to healthy bogs. The process is currently perceived as complex and the short and long-term impacts/consequences on carbon, biodiversity and water quality poorly understood and measured. The Peatland Code is currently excluding this specific type of restoration that could help reduce carbon emissions from the degrading peat and yield important biodiversity and water quality improvements. CCC wishes to present Moss of Cree, a recently completed peatland restoration site, which was previously planted with commercial forestry, as a real-world example of how this type of restoration works and showcase it as a potential investment opportunity.