A new locally-led farm and community biodiversity initiative has been launched by the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett.
The €1.25m initiative - which is under the Department’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) - is seeking applications from farmer groups, local action groups, NGOs, local authorities and community groups.
“This is all about helping farmers and land managers to deliver for biodiversity, both on farms and at a local level,” added the Minister.
“It is a completely open call so I hope any and all interested bodies such as groups of farmers, NGOs, local authorities, community groups, or indeed existing European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) will put forward their ideas for local biodiversity initiatives.”
Meanwhile, Minister Hackett pointed to how “locally-led projects are among the shining stars” of Ireland’s RDP.
“I want to build on them now by offering support to smaller-scale versions,” she continued.
“I was delighted to secure €1.25m in the Budget to fund the initiative and I see successful projects focusing on increased biodiversity through collaboration with small groups of farmers or other land managers.
“The farmers might share a common habitat such as a stream which goes through all their lands, or they might be scattered but share a common type of habitat - either is acceptable.
“These schemes have shown real innovation and delivered measurable results in terms of climate, biodiversity and water as well as enhancing the viability of farmers involved.”
Applications should be submitted by midnight on March 31, 2021 to EIP@agriculture.gov.ie