Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has encouraged local schools, community groups and clubs to apply for funding through the 2019 Community Environment Action Fund scheme.
This year’s scheme was launched on Wednesday, August 21st by Cllr. O’Shea’s colleague, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, and seeks to support local environmental projects focusing on climate change and biodiversity.
The Community Environment Action Fund (previously known as the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund or LA21) funds small scale, non-profit environmental projects at local level, that make a significant difference in local communities.
These projects involve partnership arrangements between local authorities and various local groups including community groups, schools and environmental non-government organisations.
In 2018, a host of local community-based groups carried out various environmental projects as a result of receiving funding. These included Millstreet Tidy Towns & Community Association for the conversion of St. Anna’s Clock Tower to solar power (€1,500) and IRD Duhallow for swift and barn owl conservation (€1,000).
Funding is provided by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and matched by Cork County Council. Nationally, almost €1 million is available through the scheme.
Commenting on this year’s scheme, Cllr. O’Shea said: “Any school, community group or club who wants to take a step to tackle climate change or promote biodiversity should put forward ideas before the 27th September
“Local, community–led initiatives are crucial to delivering the ambition set out in the Climate Action Plan. These projects offer people a tangible, practical way to do their part to tackle the climate challenge and feel more connected to their local community as a result.
“It is by working together and supporting these grassroots initiatives that we can deliver the step change required. Last year over 850 projects were supported under this scheme, driving real change in local communities across the country.”
A wide variety of projects and schemes have been supported under the Fund in previous years including, community gardens, allotments and compost schemes, rainwater harvesting schemes, educational initiatives and environmental exhibitions. This year’s priority is for projects in the area of Climate and Biodiversity.
Groups seeking funding for eligible projects are invited to make an application to their local authority (application forms are available from the local authorities). Completed application forms should be returned to the relevant local authority at the latest by 5pm, September 27th.
Local authority contacts and further information on the Fund can be obtained from the Department’s website: www.dccae.gov.ie.