Sunday 8, January 2023
Plants and wildlife in communities across the country are to benefit as 70 communities are receiving support to implement Local Biodiversity Action Plans.
Protection of sand-dune habitats for owls in Greystones, Co Wicklow, the planting of a tree for every resident of Trim, Co Meath, the development of a Galway nature attraction based on the writings of WB Yeats as well as regeneration of the lake in Carysfort Park in Blackrock, Dublin are among the wide range of projects being supported.
Important actions include tackling invasive alien species and providing additional roosting sites and improved foraging areas for bats and owls.
Grants are being provided through a partnership between Community Foundation Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The organisations have been matching private and public money to protect biodiversity since 2019 in a relationship which has been extended until 2024.
Funding is being provided under two strands. Firstly 47 areas which have yet to draw up a Community Biodiversity Action Plan will be supported to engage expertise. Ecologists will engage with local people including landowners and volunteer groups to establish a baseline and examine what measures are needed to enhance local biodiversity.
The second strand is for 24 communities to implement existing biodiversity plans.
Total funding of €325,000 is being made available.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, TD said: “Communities are at the heart of biodiversity action, but they need the support of experts to guide them in doing the right things for nature. That’s why this collaboration between the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Community Foundation Ireland is so impactful.
It connects communities with ecologists to fund the development of evidence-based Local Biodiversity Action Plans, and then it funds the actions. Communities get the chance to work closely with ecologists and learn more about biodiversity in their local area. It’s an enormously valuable model, and one that I’d encourage everyone to consider when the next round of applications opens in 2023.
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland added:
Ireland is far from immune from the global biodiversity emergency. Plants and animals which many of us were familiar with as children are disappearing from our communities at an alarming rate. We are proud to partner with the National Parks and Wildlife Service not only to draw attention to this crisis but to pioneer actions at ground level which make a real difference.
“There are already 80 communities with Action Plans. The information gathered is being submitted to the National Biodiversity Data Centre and will enrich our national datasets. It is a ground-breaking piece of work and one which would not be happening without our philanthropic support.”
“We look forward to seeing more communities come on board and give our plants and animals a lifeline so we can together end this emergency.”