An announcement led by Ministers Pippa Hackett and Malcolm Noonan, has unveiled €25 million toward an initiative as the first European Innovation Partnership (EIP) under the CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 aimed at preserving breeding waders, a group of birds facing severe decline in Ireland. This project, facilitated through EIP initiatives, focuses on species like Curlew, Dunlin, Lapwing, and Golden Plover, which have seen population drops of up to 98% in recent decades.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has spoken of the success of EIP initiatives in biodiversity protection and highlighted the collaboration between departments in initiatives like the Curlew Conservation Programme. This was echoed by Ministers Darragh O’Brien and Pippa Hackett stressing the positive outcomes of departmental collaboration in various conservation programs.
The initiative targets securing existing wader populations at crucial sites and aiding population recovery through landscape management and policy development. Minister Hackett highlighted the importance of collaboration with farmers to ensure these birds can thrive again, emphasising the need for locally led co-operation to address conservation challenges.
Minister Noonan announced a significant contribution of €17.5 million from the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage through the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS), with an additional €5 million allocated for breeding waders over the next five years. This funding will support conservation measures and efforts, which will include the creation of predator-proof fences that have been tested and proven effective in safeguarding breeding waders.
This initiative of funding for the Breeding Waders EIP signifies a combined effort by the government departments addressing the decline of these species. The collaboration between departments and emphasis on local community engagement reflects a multi-layered approach aimed at protecting biodiversity and water quality, showcasing a commitment to long-term conservation efforts.
Further information on the European Innovation Partnership initiative and the guidelines for this call for proposals can be accessed on the department website at European Innovation Partnership Scheme, or by contacting [email protected].
To read more about this project, click here.