A total of 188 community projects across all 31 local authorities have been awarded funding through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF).

These projects encompass a wide range of activities such as restoration, invasive species management, surveys, education, and awareness initiatives.

The funding supports the implementation of the national biodiversity action plan and aims to protect and enhance biodiversity at the local level. Additionally, the Small Recording Grants scheme has allocated funds to 67 local projects.

Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, announced the allocation of a combined €2.7m for these local biodiversity projects. Over €2.5m will be provided to local authorities through the LBAF, while €193,000 will be granted to the natural history recording community via the Small Recording Grants scheme.

The LBAF has granted over €6m to local authorities for projects aligned with the goals of the third National Biodiversity Action Plan.

Minister Noonan said: "Given that it's biodiversity week, I'm especially delighted to announce funding of over €2.5m for 188 biodiversity projects. The Local Biodiversity Action Fund is an enormously impactful scheme that supports local authorities and communities to deliver on Ireland's national objectives for nature, from invasive species to habitat restoration to awareness-raising to surveys and monitoring work."

Planned projects

A total of 188 projects have been approved across all 31 local authorities, covering a range of biodiversity-related activities. These include controlling invasive alien species, restoring dunes, conducting wetland surveys, and raising biodiversity awareness and training.

Some notable projects include monitoring the Quagga mussel invasive species in the Shannon, supporting the Shannon dolphin project, habitat mapping in Co Cork, developing an invasive alien species strategy for Galway City Council, installing closed predator-proof fences at key breeding wader sites in Co Donegal, and conducting a hedgerow survey in Co Kilkenny.

The Small Recording Grants scheme supports Ireland's natural history recording community. This year, 67 applicants have been notified of their funding allocations, totalling €193,000. Supported projects include a study on dragonflies and damselflies in Co Tipperary, a sponge recording project, and a Wexford barn owl project.

“It is fantastic to be able to fund these local initiatives once again. In 2022, my Department funded 24 projects to the tune of €70,000. This year, we have significantly increased resources for this very worthwhile scheme, with 67 projects approved at a cost of €193,000 – almost three times the projects and funding,” Minister Noonan said.