Image via DAERA
Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced £2.9million funding for the delivery of 22 environmental projects across Northern Ireland during an oral statement to the NI Assembly.
The Environment Fund for 2022 / 2023 will enable the not-for-profit organisations and councils to deliver key environmental projects that will focus on habitat restoration; species monitoring; enhancement of understanding and appreciation of the environment and outdoor recreation improvement with its associated health and well-being benefits.
Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to announce this funding, which comes on top of almost £19million already offered to projects under the DAERA Environment Fund which commenced in 2019. During the Covid-19 pandemic we have all realised the value of getting outside and this money will help us all to enjoy and access sites so that we can continue to benefit from our beautiful, natural environment in Northern Ireland.”
The Minister continued: “I have visited many of these projects, such as the work carried out by the Mourne Heritage Trust and the National Trust in the Mourne Mountains, which is restoring and maintaining many path networks, supporting visitors to both public and private land, and enabling recovery of the heathland habitat after the devastating fire last year. The impact of Covid-19 on the finances of environmental organisations means this funding is a great opportunity to support and maintain the work of local organisations and the people in them who are passionate about improving the environment.”
Minister Poots added: “I am also pleased to announce a new Environmental Challenge Competition for 2022/23 for strategic environmental projects to help support Nature Recovery and Connecting People with Nature. It will launch within the coming weeks.
Concluding Minister Poots said: “I want to commend all of those delivering these projects – staff, volunteers and contractors – which I hope will inspire all of us to play out part to create a cleaner, greener, accessible and more sustainable environment. If we get it right, the benefits to rural and urban people, the environment and the economy will be substantial and will no doubt make Northern Ireland a place where people want to live, work and be active.“
More information on the Environment Fund for 2022 / 2023 can be found on the DAERA website.