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Minister Noonan announces €2.7 million funding for local biodiversity projects

  • 188 community projects across all 31 local authorities have received funding through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF) 
  • LBAF projects include restoration, invasive species management, surveys, education and awareness projects
  • All projects support the implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan
  • Small Recording Grants scheme funds 67 local projects

Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, has today announced a combined €2.7m in funding for local biodiversity projects. Over €2.5 million is being awarded to local authorities to carry out biodiversity projects through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF) and €193k is being granted to the natural history recording community through the Small Recording Grants scheme.

Local Biodiversity Action Fund

Operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the scheme was first launched in 2018. Since then, a total of just over €6m has been granted to local authorities through the LBAF for projects that support actions in the 3rd National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP). This year’s grants will build on that investment.

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD:

“Given that it’s Biodiversity Week, I’m especially delighted to announce funding of over €2.5 million for 188 biodiversity projects. The Local Biodiversity Action Fund is an enormously impactful scheme that supports local authorities and communities to deliver on Ireland’s national objectives for nature, from invasive species to habitat restoration to awareness-raising to surveys and monitoring work. As more and more Biodiversity Officers join the ranks of our local authorities, I know that the benefits for nature and people that this Fund provides are only going to grow.”

A total of 188 projects have been approved across all 31 local authorities, covering a range of biodiversity-related activities, including invasive alien species control, dune restoration, wetland surveys and biodiversity awareness and training.

Projects approved this year include:

  • 8 local authorities joining together to monitor the Quagga mussel invasive species in the Shannon
  • 3 local authorities supporting The Shannon Dolphin Project, which is 30 years old this year (2023) making it one of the longest dolphin studies in Europe
  • Habitat mapping in Cork
  • Development of an Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Galway City Council
  • Installation of closed predator-proof fences at five key breeding wader sites in County Donegal
  • Hedgerow survey in Kilkenny County

Small Recording Grants

A grant scheme providing support to Ireland’s natural history recording community is now in operation for a fifth year, with growing popularity and record numbers of applicants. The Small Recording Grant scheme, managed by the NPWS, aims to help established naturalists recording in Ireland to maintain and enhance their expertise in species identification, and to develop the next generation of natural history recorders.

The Small Recording Grants scheme supports volunteers, groups, societies and associations of recorders who have limited or no access to financial supports for their work. 67 applicants have been notified of their funding allocations, at a combined total of €193k. The projects supported include:

  • Dissection Masterclass for Determination of Species of Moths
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies in County Tipperary
  • Sponge Recording Project
  • A Targeted Bioblitz Survey of Freshwater-Associated Taxa in the Burren
  • Wexford Barn Owl Project

The data generated by these recording exercises is utilised by the NPWS to inform its understanding of the distribution and ecology of many species and to assess their status. In turn, it informs advice on nature conservation objectives and practical measures to protect species and habitats.

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD:

“It is fantastic to be able to fund these local initiatives once again. In 2022, my Department funded 24 projects to the tune of €70,000. This year, we have significantly increased resources for this very worthwhile scheme, with 67 projects approved at a cost of €193,000 – almost 3 times the projects and 3 times the funding.

“This scheme supports the work of the NPWS in recording many aspects of individual species that it would be almost impossible for my staff to carry out themselves.”

A full list of the projects funded under the Local Biodiversity Action Fund 2023 can be viewed or downloaded on the Department’ website:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/aeb0e-local-biodiversity-action-fund-project-funding-2023/ 

ENDS

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