Extensive work has been undertaken over the past fifteen years in identifying and characterizing the ecological character of wetlands throughout County Monaghan. The outcome of this work has produced a valuable dataset which will form the basis of a Wetland Action Plan for the county.
The dataset contains information on 710 wetlands, of which 202 have been subject to field survey. The project has developed a preliminary methodology based on the Ramsar Convention, Rapid Assessment of Wetland Ecosystem Services (RAWES) criteria, and a subset (202) of the 710 wetlands site database for Monaghan has been identified for this approach. The RAWES criteria assess the multiple benefits and eco-system services provided by wetlands such as carbon capture and flood control.
A GIS and an Ecosystem Services Database template has been created for the project. The methodology has been discussed with the NPWS wetland team.
Benefits of the Solution
Following the RAWES assessment, the project will objectively identify rehabilitation and restoration priorities for the wetland resource of Monaghan’s wetlands, to improve biodiversity and climate mitigation outcomes, amongst other ecosystem services.
The project will help define climate action as well as management strategies, defining an action plan for wetland protection in County Monaghan.
The project will help determine whether high-carbon ecosystems should be prioritised for restoration and rehabilitation budgets over the coming years to safeguard peat carbon storage and sequestration. In the County Monaghan context, wetlands that are not peatlands may play important roles in flood mitigation and biodiversity protection and the ecosystem services on these sites will also be assessed as part of the project.
Actions will be costed as part of the plan and likely will focus on the re-wetting of drained fens and peatlands, prevention of nutrient inputs to wetlands, removal of invasive species including self-seeded conifers, awareness raising and capacity building initiatives.
A public engagement strategy will be developed and funding sources identified to ensure the wide uptake of the wetland action plan among partners and community groups, the primary beneficiaries in County Monaghan.
The final project methodology, results and lessons learned will be shared with other local authorities at the end of the project, as the method and outputs will be useful to other counties.
A web app developed as part of the Monaghan Wetland Action Plan project shows the location of these wetlands and allows local groups and interested parties see the results and outcome of the project.
More information and a link to the map can be viewed here