Biodiversity Boost

In 2023, biodiversity in communities across the country are to benefit as 70 communities are receiving support to implement Local Biodiversity Action Plans. Protection of sand-dune habitats for owls in Greystones, Co Wicklow, the planting of a tree for every resident of Trim, Co Meath, the development of a Galway nature attraction based on the writings of WB Yeats as well as regeneration of the lake in Carysfort Park in Blackrock, Dublin are among the wide range of projects being supported.

Important actions include tackling invasive alien species and providing additional roosting sites and improved foraging areas for bats and owls.

Grants are being provided through a partnership between Community Foundation Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The organisations have been matching private and public money to protect biodiversity since 2019 in a relationship which has been extended until 2024.

In 2023, funding is being provided under two strands. Firstly 47 areas which have yet to draw up a Community Biodiversity Action Plan will be supported to engage expertise. Ecologists will engage with local people including landowners and volunteer groups to establish a baseline and examine what measures are needed to enhance local biodiversity. The second strand is for 24 communities to implement existing biodiversity plans. Total funding of €325,000 is being made available.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, TD said: “Communities are at the heart of biodiversity action, but they need the support of experts to guide them in doing the right things for nature. That’s why this collaboration between the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Community Foundation Ireland is so impactful. It connects communities with ecologists to fund the development of evidence-based Local Biodiversity Action Plans, and then it funds the actions. Communities get the chance to work closely with ecologists and learn more about biodiversity in their local area. It’s an enormously valuable model, and one that I’d encourage everyone to consider when the next round of applications opens in 2023.”

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland added: “Ireland is far from immune from the global biodiversity emergency. Plants and animals which many of us were familiar with as children are disappearing from our communities at an alarming rate. We are proud to partner with the National Parks and Wildlife Service not only to draw attention to this crisis but to pioneer actions at ground level which make a real difference.

“There are already 80 communities with Action Plans. The information gathered is being submitted to the National Biodiversity Data Centre and will enrich our national datasets. It is a ground-breaking piece of work and one which would not be happening without our philanthropic support.”

“We look forward to seeing more communities come on board and give our plants and animals a lifeline so we can together end this emergency.”


About the National Parks and Wildlife Service

The role of National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is:

– To secure the conservation of a representative range of ecosystems to maintain and enhance populations of flora and fauna in Ireland.
– To designate and advise on the protection of habitats and species identified for nature conservation.
– To make the necessary arrangements for the implementation of National and EU legislation and policies for nature conservation and biodiversity including the EU Habitats and Birds Directives, and for the ratification and implementation of the range of international Conventions and Agreements relating to the natural heritage.
– To manage, maintain and develop State-owned National Parks and Nature Reserves.
– To promote awareness of natural heritage and biodiversity issues through education, outreach and engaging with stakeholders.


About Community Foundation Ireland

Community Foundation Ireland and its donors are on a shared mission of equality for all in thriving communities. Together with 5,000 voluntary, community and charitable partners we are a philanthropic hub for Ireland, which is a source of knowledge, expertise and information to ensure effective and strategic giving.

The Foundation is a philanthropic hub with the expertise and experience to deliver positive, sustainable, and strategic impact. It links the generosity and vision of donors with the energy, ideas, and time of people in the community. Community Foundation Ireland’s unique connectivity with communities and frontline services allows us to do this.

The purpose of Community Foundation Ireland is to drive impactful social change. CFI are committed to working with frontline partners and with changemakers who want to make a difference.


How to apply for Funding:

Do you represent a community or organisation looking to make a positive change? We love to talk to and partner with groups of people who share our mission of equality for all in thriving communities.

Once we start the conversation there are a number of funding options which we can discuss with you to see which partnership might work best.

Projects should align with at least one of the pillars supporting our equality mission: Sustainable Futures, Inclusive Communities, Empowering Generations or Accelerating Change.