New LIFE Strategic Nature Project (SNaP) Ireland Announced

Mar 8, 2024 | Green Architecture

LIFE Strategic Nature Project (SNaP) Ireland is a €33.9m LIFE project coordinated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), with partners the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) and Coillte Nature, secured under the 2022 LIFE Call for Proposals.

LIFE SNaP Ireland is the largest LIFE project in Ireland to date and is of strategic importance for biodiversity and nature restoration at a national level. The project addresses the needs to identify, collate, analyse, and share all data relevant to nature conservation nationally; to find new ways to fund restoration; and to deliver prioritised nature conservation measures. The project will take place over nine years, from 2024 to 2032.

The LIFE SNaP Ireland project takes a three-pillar approach to addressing its objectives. Pillar One focuses on data and builds an Integrated Data Platform that will harvest data related to nature conservation from multiple departments, agencies, and state bodies. The Integrated Data Platform will enable a coordinated approach to conservation planning and the implementation of measures in Ireland across Government, providing role-based and public facing dashboards that will be maintained after the project ends. Pillar One also implements a national pollinator monitoring programme to track changes in wild pollinators. Pillar Two will carry out restoration measures for habitats and species in key areas identified by the Integrated Data Platform in Pillar One. Pillar Three will establish a National Complementary Funding Unit to coordinate and mobilise funding of measures.

The LIFE Programme and NPWS

The LIFE Programme is one of the main EU mechanisms for funding projects in the area of the environment and plays a significant role in the implementation of major EU legislation, such as the Habitats and Birds Directives. The NPWS has a successful history of coordinating LIFE projects, including BurrenLIFE, AranLIFE and KerryLIFE. The NPWS coordinate current projects LIFE IP Wild Atlantic Nature, Corncrake LIFE and LIFE On Machair and are partners in LIFE Insular and Lough Carra LIFE.

LIFE SNaP Ireland Objectives

The overall aim of LIFE SNaP Ireland is to contribute to the eventual full implementation of the site related measures of the Prioritised Action Framework for Ireland 2021-2027 (PAF21). It will:

  • Improve institutional capacity through the creation of an Integrated Data Platform for conservation measures, including mapping and public facing dashboards, to allow identification of gaps and effectiveness of restoration measures.
  • Deliver restoration actions with a strategic added value for the implementation of EU nature and biodiversity policies, particularly related to implementation of PAF21 and the Nature Restoration Regulation, with an initial focus on lagoons, blanket bog restoration of afforested peat on the Coillte estate and further measures on 1000ha of land to be identified by the project.
  • Establish a National Complementary Funding Unit to fund biodiversity restoration projects and to mainstream biodiversity objectives into other policies and funding instruments.

Source of text: National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)

Source of images: National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and CAP Network Ireland

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