Biodiversity Action

Partnership Approach


Jason Coulter of Community Foundation Ireland explains the importance of a partnership between Philanthropy and Government is making biodiversity action happen.

Spring has arrived at long last, and with it comes the announcement of successful applicants to our Biodiversity Fund.

This year we are awarding €376,090 to develop 33 Community Biodiversity Action Plans (CBAPs) and 45 projects implementing recommendations contained in already existing plans. This is the fourth iteration of the Fund, and this year marks the first time we are funding more recommendations than plans themselves – an important milestone!

With 136 applications received, unfortunately we simply could not fund all worthy submissions. This oversubscription shows just how prioritised biodiversity has become among communities.

We were delighted to receive extra support through our network of donors, who encouragingly stepped in to help fund more CBAPs and recommendations.

The partnership between philanthropy and government is vital in ensuring all capable projects receive the funding they need to restore Ireland’s biodiversity.

The current iteration of our Biodiversity Fund exists thanks to our partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, of which the National Parks and Wildlife Service falls under. We were delighted that minister Malcolm Noonan kindly took the time to visit Crumlin Community Clean-Up with us recently.

Crumlin Community Clean-Up also attended our Biodiversity In Action conference in Athlone last year. This was a gathering of over 130 people working to enhance biodiversity and restore nature in their areas, alongside our fantastic network of ecologists, and working with their local biodiversity officers. It also marked the launch of the new Action for Biodiversity Website with the National Biodiversity Data Centre

This will play host to CBAPs and ecological reports from across the country, with an intuitive, accessible design making it easy to see what has been done in every county. The site also has useful tools and resources for anyone interested in learning more about CBAPs and their impact.

A key takeaway from this year’s round is that biodiversity has become a priority for many communities across the country.

The impact of this Fund at local level cannot be overstated.

Tidy Towns organisations, climate action groups, and residents’ associations are quickly becoming central to tackling Ireland’s biodiversity loss.

This is not surprising. Organisations such as these are embedded in their communities, with excellent links to farmers, shopkeepers, schools, and county councils.

In a matter of years, some of the most radical environmental champions are now the volunteers giving up their time to educate their towns and villages on the importance of restoring local biodiversity.

Of the 33 CBAPs being developed through this year’s fund, some notable areas being targeted include the Aran Islands and Inishbofin, with grants going to both locations. This is part of a response to corncrakes returning to our western islands for breeding – significant as the bird remains endangered worldwide despite growing numbers in Ireland.

Invasive species removal is a vital weapon in protecting our natural ecosystem and this year we are funding a number of projects tackling Japanese Knotweed in particular, with other grants to remove invasive Bracken and Gian Rhubarb. Wildlife corridors are an important aspect of enhancing local biodiversity as they provide safe healthy passage for our wildlife. There are several grants to do just that in Clare, Mayo, and Louth.

This year we are funding citizen science workshops and the purchase of monitoring equipment so local groups can contribute to a thorough mapping of Ireland’s wildlife.  We are funding the purchase and installation of bird and bat boxes in areas where they are most needed, while sand and pine martin nests are being installed in Laois and Wexford respectively. Many of these installations are constructed by local Men’s Sheds which is a great way to get the community involved.

You can view the full list of grantees and a short description of their projects online.

If there happens to be a group near you receiving funding, why not join them? Most of our biodiversity grantees are volunteer-led and many of them are only beginning their ecological journey. Community awareness and outreach has become a priority of this fund, so if you just want to dip your toes in, keep an eye out for any workshops, walks, or talks near you!

Support Biodiversity

Are you a changemaker? Do you want to protect Irish plants and wildlife? We would love to chat. Check out our Strategic Giving Section.