Twelve Clare communities are getting support so they can step up local efforts to protect native plants and animals by developing biodiversity plans.
The supports are being provided by The Community Foundation for Ireland in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage as part of a joint Environment and Nature Fund, which is now in its third year.
Funding is being provided under two strands so that Clare communities can respond to a biodiversity emergency which has seen many native species under immediate and ongoing threat.
Under the first strand grants are being provided so that 10 Clare groups can assess the impact of the emergency amongst native species in the countryside, woodlands and along riverbeds.
In the second strand groups who have already developed their plans will be working with an expert ecologist to draw up a community biodiversity action plan within their local community or with two or 3-5 local landowners. This funding is being awarded to two local groups.
Announcing the grants Minister of State for Heritage at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing, Malcolm Noonan TD, said
“I am very happy to continue to support this innovative scheme that connects local communities with ecologists. This scheme will enable local communities to become more effective environmental stewards and empower them to establish a shared vision for conserving biodiversity in their local areas”
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland added:
“There is real passion and energy in Clare communities to reverse the crisis facing our native plants and animals. Our fund has already seen citizen scientists mobilised to protect peat-lands, native butterflies, bats and birds as well as plants and trees even during a pandemic.
With this latest funding in partnership with Government we are setting ourselves long term goals by offering Clare communities access to ecologists who will advise and guide on the actions which need to be taken. This will see groups re-assured that the actions they take are the right ones which will be impactful by delivering benefits not just for the immediate future but for generations to come.”