On World Wetlands Day, I’d like to commend the great work being done in communities across the country at a local level to enhance our appreciation of wetlands. Since 2018, my Department’s Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme has provided funding to enable local groups to raise awareness, restore and bring communities together to celebrate our peatlands. This year’s scheme, launched in January 2022 has the largest funding allocation to date of €500,000.
I’m also delighted that funding to the popular Local Biodiversity Action Fund has increased by 200% since 2019 and I congratulate the Local Authorities on the many excellent projects that have been delivered under this funding to date. Greater funding allows us to be increasingly ambitious in our efforts to reverse biodiversity loss. Action for nature at the local level is critical. Local Authorities and communities are a huge part of the biodiversity solution and I’d encourage everyone to see what can be done in their community, engage with their local Heritage and Biodiversity Officers, and get their applications in.