Funding for locally led biodiversity projects doubled to €3m
My colleague, Minister Malcolm Noonan has announced that funding to the Local Biodiversity Action Fund is being doubled to €3 million for 2023. It is obvious from our vibrant Tidy Towns groups to our Resident Associations and beyond that communities are eager to play their part in conserving habitats for nature. I hope that this year, even more communities will consider projects and work with their Council to have them funded.
Midlands counties have a successful record with this fund, including funding in 2022 for biodiversity enhancement planning along the Old Rail Trail Greenway, Westmeath and at Syngefield Demesne, Offaly and the planting of woodland at schools in Laois. Last year Offaly, Laois and Westmeath received €53,000, €63,000 and €61,000 respectively and I look forward to this figure and the impact of projects continuing to increase in 2023.
It is wonderful to see that planning and implementation are being supported again this year. We know we can’t fix habitat loss in one measure or in one year. I welcome the fact that this funding targets the preparation of restoration plans for degraded habitats and the implementation of conservation measures arising from restoration plans. Some communities are well along this path while others are just beginning. Both need our support.
Local Authorities can now apply to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to avail of this funding to deliver local biodiversity projects. Communities should contact the Environment office of their Council to learn more about applying for funding.
More information on today’s announcement on the Local Biodiversity Action Fund: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/24e9c-funding-for-locally-led-biodiversity-projects-doubled-to-3m/