New Environment Fund Announced

Posted on 22 Feb 2019 Last updated on 24 Feb 2019

Announced at the National Biodiversity Conference in Dublin Castle on 21 February was the commitment from The Community Foundation for Ireland to focus 25% of its own discretionary resources on a new Environment and Nature Fund for the next two years at least.

President Higgins, The Community Foundation for Ireland’s patron also addressed the conference.

The Community Foundation has ring-fenced €250,000 to start a fund for the Environment and Nature in 2019 and is committed to doing the same in 2020. The Community Foundation for Ireland is asking other funders, organisations, individuals and families to partner and contribute to the fund to meet the expected demand and achieve greater impact and scope.

Commenting on the announcement, Tina Roche, CEO, The Community Foundation for Ireland, said: “As Ireland loses its biodiversity at an unprecedented rate, it is vital that communities engage with biodiversity conservation at a local level. Over 90% of our protected habitats are in poor or inadequate condition. Only 5% of our species have been assessed by scientists. The number of plants, insects, mammals and birds that are threatened or endangered is growing year-on-year. Responding to the challenge of biodiversity loss and reversing these trends is a critical challenge for all sectors of society, and one that must be met in our lifetimes. It is especially important for communities to engage with biodiversity conservation at the local level, and this is what The Community Foundation for Ireland wants to support and encourage others to support by contributing to the Environment and Nature Fund.”

Traditionally there has been minimal philanthropic funding prioritised for environmental issues. According to the Environmental Funders Network, UK trusts and foundations direct between 0.93 per cent and 2.2 per cent of their giving to address climate change. In comparison to the funding other social issues receive, environmental funding is lacking and does not begin to meet the demand for capital. 

The Community Foundation wants to change this to encourage other donors and trusts and foundations to start directing more funding to tackle the environmental crisis we are now facing. 

The announcement of the Environment and Nature fund follows on from the success of funding from The Community Foundation in 2019 where they distributed grants of up to €10,000 to 10 organisations to tackle local biodiversity issues, to read more about what has been already done in the area of Environment click here.

The Environment and Nature Fund from The Community Foundation for Ireland is part of the ‘Our Seeds For Nature’ Charter that was also announced at the conference. The charter comprises a suite of commitments for nature and biodiversity that go beyond the respective organisations’ current work programmes to support, scale up and fast track the implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan.

To see the full list of commitments click here.