Increased funding has been allocated for local authorities for projects which tackle invasive alien species or enhance biodiversity.
An extra €1.35 million has been allocated under a scheme operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service which assists local authority biodiversity officers and heritage officers with implementation of projects supporting actions set out in the National Biodiversity Action Plan.
World Wildlife Day
"I'm thrilled to launch this important funding scheme on World Wildlife Day," Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan said.
“Local authorities have a hugely important role to play in addressing the biodiversity crisis, and we need their help to create new habitats, restore existing ones, tackle invasive species and raise awareness of nature locally, regionally and nationally,” Mr Noonan said.
Among the 50 projects last year were a gardening for biodiversity booklet produced by Laois County Council and the creation of more freshwater habitats in Turvey Nature Park by Fingal County Council.
Other headline projects included Kilkenny County Council commissioning a series of biodiversity adverts for local radio, encouraging the public to protect, record and enjoy local biodiversity; and survey work by Kerry County Council to facilitate prevention, early detection and rapid eradication of Rhododendron ponticum, an invasive alien species in the Killarney National Park and neighbouring areas.