The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, has announced over €1.4 million in funding for local authorities to carry out biodiversity projects through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF).
Since it was launched in 2018, a total of almost €4m has been granted to local authorities through the LBAF to carry out projects in support of the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 (NBAP).
“We know that communities are at the heart of biodiversity action and that’s why I’m so thrilled to see this fund continue to grow and increase its impact all across the country,” said Minister Noonan. “This year, we’ve funded 128 projects across all 31 local authorities. This will have real, tangible impact for nature and it couldn’t come at a more crucial time. What’s more, the successful projects are all contributing to the implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan and helping to advance our shared vision for nature.
“The new National Biodiversity Action Plan is currently out for public consultation, so it’s a great opportunity for people to have their say and help shape the future for biodiversity in Ireland.”
Engagement with communities and local authorities is crucial to the implementation of the NBAP. The LBAF scheme represents a commitment to support implementation of the plan at community, county and regional level, and recognises the importance of the work carried out by local authorities through their biodiversity and heritage officers.
All 31 local authorities applied for and will receive funding this year, with a total of 128 projects approved, 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 a Mayo wetlands county survey.
The public consultation for Ireland’s fourth NBAP launched on September 1 and submissions are invited through www.gov.ie/biodiversityplan. The public consultation will close on November 9 and the fourth NBAP will be published in early 2023.