NBSEduworld Case Study: Transitioning away from industrial peat extraction and moving towards Nature Based Solutions of rehabilitation

Local mini-workshop in Offaly_NBSEduworld
Area characterisation: 

County Offaly is located strategically within the centre of Ireland, known as the Midlands Region of Ireland.  The county’s population was 77,961 in the 2016 census with a 45% urban 55rural% split.  Offaly’s land extent is approx. 200,000 hectares.  Approximately one fifth of the county comprises peatlands.


To raise awareness of NbS and the importance of NbS going forward to achieve a climate resilient, biodiversity rich, environmentally sustainable and climate neutral economy.  Explore synergies between educational professionals, NbS practitioners, communities and policymakers.


Continue to raise awareness of NbS through informal and non-formal methods.  Showcasing NbS projects and the benefits of NbS.  Cooperating and participating with NbS EduWorld to develop formal educational programmes for citizens of all ages.

Potential impacts/benefits: 

Creating more respectful, cohesive, inclusive and participatory communities with easy access to education on NbS.  Developing a clear tangible link between educators and citizens for life-long learning towards NbS.

The 12 competencies are part of the GreenComp framework accessible here: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC128040

Green Comp framework for Offaly case study:-

-Embodying sustainability values, including the competences

☒valuing sustainability
☒supporting fairness
☒promoting nature

- Embracing complexity in sustainability, including the competences
☒systems thinking
☒critical thinking
☒problem framing

- Envisioning sustainable futures, including the competences
☒futures literacy
☒exploratory thinking

- Acting for sustainability, including the competences
☒political agency
☒collective action
☒individual initiative

NbS benefits 
  • Developing climate change adaptation; improving risk management and resilience
  • Reduce drought risk
  • Reduce flood risk
  • Developing climate change mitigation
  • Carbon sequestration and storage
  • Restoring ecosystems and their functions
  • Improve connectivity and functionality of green and blue infrastructures
  • Increase achievements of biodiversity targets
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Increase quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
  • Increased cultural richness and biodiversity
  • Creation of green jobs relating to construction & maintenance of NBS
  • Increase awareness of NBS solution & their effectiveness and co benefits
  • Increase communities’ sense of ownership
  • Increase stakeholder awareness & knowledge about NBS
  • Increase well-being
  • Social learning about location & importance of NBS
Transferability of the result: 

Offaly and the wider Midlands Region of Ireland is currently going through a generational transition away from peat extraction towards NbS rehabilitation of industrial peat sites.  The learning and educational benefits of this case study could be rolled out widely across the entire greater Midlands Region and to other EU regions experiencing a similar transition.

Lessons learned: 

The main lesson learned at the workshop was that communities are seeking more reliable, trustworthy information and education in relation to NbS.  The idea of NbS is being embraced by most sections of society and strong leadership from policymakers is required.  


NBSEduWorld funded under Horizon Europe

Sustainable Development Goals 
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 14. Life Below Water
  • 15. Life On Land