Environment in Ireland
We are losing global biodiversity at a rate unprecedented in human history. In Ireland, many of our protected habitats are in poor condition and 14% of assessed species are thought to be endangered. The number of plants, insects, mammals and birds that are threatened or endangered is growing year-on-year. This matters for people as well as the planet. As the web of life breaks apart, the natural systems that give us food to eat, air to breathe and water to drink are increasingly vulnerable.
As Ireland loses its biodiversity at an unprecedented rate, it is vital that communities engage with biodiversity conservation at a local level. Over 90% of our protected habitats are in poor or inadequate condition. Only 5% of our species have been assessed by scientists. The number of plants, insects, mammals and birds that are threatened or endangered is growing year-on-year. This matters for people and the planet. As the web of life breaks apart, the natural systems that give us food to eat, air to breathe and water to drink are increasingly vulnerable.
How have we supported the Environment so far?
Traditionally there has been minimal philanthropic funding prioritised for environmental issues. According to the Environmental Funders Network, UK trusts and foundations direct between 0.93 per cent and 2.2 per cent of their giving to address climate change. In comparison to the funding other social issues receive, environmental funding is lacking and does not begin to meet the demand for capital. The Community Foundation wants to change this to encourage other donors and trusts and foundations to start directing more funding to tackle the environmental crisis we are now facing.
Responding to the challenge of biodiversity loss and reversing trends is a critical challenge for all sectors of society, and one that must be met in our lifetimes if we are to ensure the integrity of the web of life on which we all depend. It is especially important for communities to engage with biodiversity conservation at the local level, and this is what The Community Foundation for Ireland wants to support. In doing so, we hope to find out what community-based conservation work is taking place in Ireland and better understand what needs to happen to bring about real change in this area.
To help make this possible, The Community Foundation for Ireland offered grants up to €10,000 to organisations with an income of not more than €1,000,000 per year who are undertaking projects that aim to protect, enhance, restore or create biodiverse habitats, or protect and provide shelter and/or food sources for native Irish species.
There were ten recipients of The Community Foundation for Ireland Biodiversity Grant in 2018, all coming under the primary issue of the Social Change specifically the environment, each received grants ranging from €4,000 to €10,000. They were Portarlington Community Development Association Co Laois, Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group Co Dublin, Broadford Wildlife Arboretum Co Limerick, The Rediscovery Centre Boiler House Biodiversity Project Co Dublin, Irish Peatland Conservation Council Co Kildare, North West Democratic School Co Sligo, An Gairdin Beo Co. Carlow, Crann Trees for Ireland Co Dublin, Headford Environment Group Co. Galway, GIY Co. Waterford.
How can you help?
The Community Foundation has ring-fenced €250,000 to start a fund for the Environment and Nature in 2019 and is committed to doing the same in 2020. The Community Foundation for Ireland is asking other funders, organisations, individuals and families to partner and contribute to the fund to meet the expected demand and achieve greater impact and scope.
To discuss how you can colloborate with The Community Foundation for Ireland in protecting our environment please contact our Fund Development team on 01 874 7354, you can take a look at the different ways you can give here.