Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen has allocated £2.6million to environmental projects across Northern Ireland.
The Minster said: “I am pleased to announce this funding for 2017/18 which is taken from the revenue raised by the carrier bag levy. It will be used to help projects which sustain, improve and enrich our natural environment in Northern Ireland.”
A total of 36 projects across 33 organisations have received grants of between £6,290 and £252,500 from the Environment Fund, funded through the carrier bag levy.
Among the initiatives funded are projects to recruit and train volunteers for large scale bird monitoring surveys; carry out habitat and species conservation activities; maintain and promote long-distance walking routes; and encourage recycling.
The Minister added: “The aim of the carrier bag levy is to reduce the number of carrier bags in circulation, thereby reducing waste. I am pleased that the most recent statistics show that the people of Northern Ireland have embraced the reuse and recycling of shopping bags. This significantly reduces the amount of plastic and paper going to landfill which not only helps the environment, but also saves money for local councils in landfill tax.
“By also using the money raised to fund environmental projects we are maximising the positive impact of the carrier bag levy.”
The Environment Fund is one of the mechanisms through which the proceeds of the carrier bag levy have been used to enable not-for-profit organisations and councils to deliver key environmental priorities across Northern Ireland.
Earlier this year, the Minister announced that £400,000 in a separate funding stream sourced from the carrier bag levy will be available for the Challenge Fund. It was aimed at not-for-profit organisations delivering projects which aim to improve the local environment and boost civic pride.
Notes to editors:
1. The Environment Fund supports projects in Northern Ireland contributing to two Priority Themes:
a. Theme 1: Ensuring good habitat quality, landscape and species abundance and diversity.
b. Theme 2: Promotion of health, well-being, resource efficiency and sustainable economic development, realising the full value of our environment.
2. List of organisations funded as follows.
- Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council - Air quality
- Ards and North Down Borough Council - Air quality
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council:
- Ballinderry Rivers Trust
- Bat Conservation Ireland
- Belfast City Council - Air quality
- Belfast Hills Partnership
- British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)
- Business in the Community
- Butterfly Conservation
- Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council - Air quality
- Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT)
- Colin Glen Trust
- Derry City and Strabane District Council - Air quality
- Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG)
- Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful
- Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council - Air quality
- Lough Neagh Partnership
- Mid and East Antrim Borough Council - Air quality
- Mid Ulster District Council - Air quality
- Mourne Heritage Trust
- National Museums Northern Ireland - Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR)
- National Trust
- Newry Mourne and Down District Council:
- Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership
- Ring of Gullion AONB
- Air quality
- Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL)
- Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG)
- Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland
- The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)
- Ulster Wildlife
- Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
- Woodland Trust
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