Speaking today Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly said that she “welcomes the investment for biodiversity projects at local level”. She went on to say “putting biodiversity to the top of the agenda is key for us in government. Well done to all volunteers for the work you have continued to engage in to protect our natural environment. In recognition of that work, I am delighted that Green Party Minister Malcolm Noonan is today announcing €90,682 for Galway, including the removal of invasive species from parts of the city and Connemara, money for Terryland National Park, and Barna Woods”.
Galway City Council has also been awarded funding to develop a Healthy Green Spaces Project – about improving the quality of Galway city’s green spaces to be welcoming and inviting for people, to deliver on the need to reverse biodiversity loss, support pollinators, make positive impacts against or to cope with climate change, reduce waste and the reliance on carbon based fuels.
Commenting on the announcement, Minister Noonan said: “There is good news for nature in every Local Authority in Ireland today! I’m thrilled to see so many excellent biodiversity projects receive funding under the Local Authority Biodiversity Grant Scheme, which I doubled funding for this year. Community-level action is so important, and the initiatives provided for through this grant demonstrate the scale and breadth of interest in biodiversity and the natural world across the country. I can’t wait to get out and visit them over the coming year.”
The grant offers funding to assist local authority biodiversity officers (and heritage officers in local authorities without a biodiversity officer) and an exciting range of projects have been funded this year. All of the projects to receive funding promote actions contained in the National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) 2017-2021.
First launched in 2018, the Scheme supports actions for biodiversity in local areas and is an important element of the overall NBAP implementation. Engagement with communities and local authorities is crucial to the implementation of the Plan and the grants help raise awareness of biodiversity issues locally, regionally and nationally. Under the scheme exchequer funding meets 85% of the cost of the projects, with the local authority providing the remaining 15%.