Local authorities in Ireland gain funding for biodiversity action
Malcolm Noonan, the Minister of State announced that all local authorities have secured the funding under the National Biodiversity Local Authority Biodiversity Grant Scheme. A value of €1.35 million has been secured in 2021 for this scheme, which is operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
The funding provides support for local authority biodiversity officers, as well as heritage officers in local authorities, including several projects planned for the year. All projects anticipated to receive funding support measures within the National Biodiversity Action Plan (2017-2021). This year the funding was double the amount secured in 2020.
Minister Noonan states this is positive news for nature in every local authority in Ireland. Noonan explains that it is exciting to see such a range of biodiversity projects securing funding under the scheme. Noonan highlights that community-level action is critical and the initiatives supported to display the scale and range of interest in biodiversity and the natural world across Ireland.
Initially launched in 2018, the scheme supports biodiversity in local areas and is an important part of the wider NBAP scheme. Community engagement and supporting local authorities is an important part of the wider plan and the grants support further awareness of biodiversity issues across Ireland. A total of €789,785 on 70 Biodiversity Projects across Ireland has been announced for projects ranging from pollinator-friendly projects to Biodiversity Action Plans; flora, fauna and Green Space surveys to dune restoration; and wetland surveys to radio awareness campaigns. All projects supported by the Scheme range from those that aim to increase appreciation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Peter Burke, the Minister of State for Local Government explained that the success of the Local Authority Biodiversity Grant Scheme represents the close working relationship between the Department and the local authorities, especially with the biodiversity and heritage officers. Burke said it was positive to see more projects focusing on reversing biodiversity loss in urban regions across Ireland.