• 04May

    €630,000 made available for local environment projects

    Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley has announced details concerning this year’s Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund – inviting applications from communities, individuals, not for profit groups, or organisations offering projects or initiatives that contribute to increasing local levels of environmental awareness; or those which promote building greener, more sustainable communities.

    The Department is making total grant assistance of €315,000 available for the 2010 scheme. Matching funding by local authorities will bring the Fund to €630,000. The Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund promotes sustainable development by assisting small scale, non-profit environmental projects at local level. The Fund has operated in various forms since 1997 when 65 projects first received funding.

    In 2009 the number of projects funded had reached 408. A wide variety of projects and schemes have been supported under the Fund in previous years ranging from community gardens, allotments and compost schemes to rainwater harvesting systems – from ecological educational initiatives to environmental exhibitions.

    “Local Agenda 21 is a fantastic process to be involved with. The significant funding set aside once again this year demonstrates our continued commitment to developing community awareness and encouraging positive actions to tackle environmental issues in the places which affect us most. Over the years, the initiative has pushed for ever greater participation by communities in local decision making for real sustainable development,” said Minister Gormley.

    Projects should focus on environmental awareness and actions which complement national environmental policies such as those on Waste, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Sustainable Development.

    “Given the current levels of interest in community gardens and allotments, I would once again encourage groups interested in domestic and community food production to apply to the fund for support. Growing your own food can save money, is a healthy pastime, improves community spirit and reduces carbon emissions and food miles; while no better demonstration of the vibrancy and resilience extant in your locality can be shown than in the freshness and taste of locally produced food,” Minister Gormley added.

    Application forms and further information on the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund and can be obtained from the Environmental Awareness Officer in each local authority and on the Department’s website www.environ.ie. Completed forms should be returned to the relevant local authority by Friday 28th May 2010.

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