Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, has welcomed increased efforts to help tackle biodiversity loss at community level nationwide. Under the Department’s new funding scheme for Local Authorities, a total of 38 grants have been awarded this year for projects across 28 local authorities who applied.
The grant funding for a range of local authority projects - that promote actions contained in the 2017-2021 National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP)- has been increased this year, and Minister Madigan is pleased to announce a commitment to significantly increased funding in 2020 and 2021 with local authorities now able to apply for multi-annual projects for at least 3 years.
The new scheme, which was piloted in 2018, provides funding to assist local authority biodiversity officers, and heritage officers in authorities without a biodiversity officer, with the implementation of projects that promote actions contained in the National Biodiversity Action Plan.
Last year, funding was awarded to local authorities under two separate headings: implementation of the Plan and also to tackle invasive alien species of Union concern in support of the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation (1143/2014).
This year, both of these grant streams have been amalgamated in order to allow local authorities more freedom in how they decide to spend the funding in their areas. Local authorities also had the opportunity to make applications for multi-annual biodiversity projects: the Minister has allocated an increased amount of €2 million over three years to the new amalgamated scheme of which half a million euro will be available in 2019.
This stream of funding for biodiversity in local areas is an important element of the overall NBAP implementation. Engagement with communities and local authorities is crucial to the implementation of our National Biodiversity Plan and these grants will help raise awareness of biodiversity issues locally, regionally and nationally.
In 2019, grants have been awarded for 38 projects across the 28 local authorities who applied. These projects include:
- Kildare and Cavan County Council’s implementation of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.
- Wexford County Council’s development of ‘marine non-native invasive species control plans for the ports, harbours and quays in Wexford.
- Cork County Council’s Invasive Alien Species Management Project for the Bride Valley Waterways.
- Longford County Council’s North Longford Native Tree Nursery.
- Sligo and Limerick County Councils both tackling the issue of Giant Hogweed.
Note to Editors:
- An amount of €500,000 has been made available in 2019 for this scheme. The funding will be made available, in line with a grant application and award process, to biodiversity officers in the counties that have them, and heritage officers. Any funding awarded will be
- subject to provision of an agreed level of co-funding from the local authority’s own resources;
- spent on a project directly related to one or more actions of the National Biodiversity Action Plan, and also;
- the project outputs must be reported to the Department before the end of the year.
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