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The Explainer x Noteworthy: Why are our peatlands still being exploited?

Reporter Steven Fox and German reporter Swantje Furtak tell Susan Daly about their cross-border investigation into the damaging effects of commercial activity on wetlands.

Design for Wasted Wetlands: felled tree trunks are stacked on a forest access route. The stacked, felled timber is in blue on the right. The rest of the image is gray and consists of a dense plantation of pine, through which a road of felled trees has been cut. The ground is covered in bits of pine tree and tree stumps. The word Noteworthy appears in the top left corner.

COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION OF our bogs for forestry and windfarm development has led to criticism from environmental campaigners. They say the State hasn’t done enough to protect bogs – a key weapon in battling the dual climate and biodiversity crisis.

For Noteworthy’s latest in-depth series, WASTED WETLANDS, Steven Fox revealed how commercial activity is releasing carbon stored in bogs and endangering bird habitats and water quality.

This comes as Ireland has just been referred by the European Commission to the European Court of Justice over the State’s failure to halt industrial peat extraction.

The investigation was part of a cross-border project on European wetlands, with journalists in German and Italy. It was supported by Journalismfund Europe’s Earth Investigations Programme.

In a bonus episode of The Explainer podcast, brought to you by Noteworthy, Fox goes through his findings with presenter Susan Daly. They’re joined by reporter Swantje Furtak who shares insights into this wetland exploitation in Germany.

This episode was put together by Susan Daly, Maria Delaney and producer Laura Byrne. 


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