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£12.5m fund for projects tackling climate change and biodiversity loss

By Niall Harkiss

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Projects designed to help the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are set to benefit from further funding this year.

The annual Nature Restoration Fund opens today to projects that help Scotland's species, woodlands, rivers and seas back on the road to recovery, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of local communities, with at least £12.5 million available in 2022-23.

Habitat and species restoration, coastal and marine protection and eradication of invasive non-native species are among the types of projects that can apply for grants of up to £250,000.

Biodiversity minister Lorna Slater said: “Scotland’s natural environment is already heavily degraded, and wildlife is in decline here just as it is across the world.

“In the face of this crisis, we are redoubling our efforts to protect species and restore nature across Scotland, and working with nations across the world to accelerate global action.

“The Nature Restoration Fund will play a big role in delivering these positive changes by supporting longer-term, larger scale projects across Scotland - on land and at sea - that address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. Over this parliament we will invest at least £65 million through the fund, delivering real change that people and nature will benefit from across the whole country.

“It's part of our wider £500 million investment in Scotland’s natural environment, with funding for the restoration of peatlands, woodlands, and other natural habitats.”

Francesca Osowska, chief executive officer of NatureScot, said: “If we want to secure a ‘net zero, nature positive’ future for Scotland then we must act now to repair the damage done to our land and seas by decades of degradation.

“Through the Nature Restoration Fund, we can support vital work to address the biodiversity and climate crisis by putting Scotland’s species, woodlands, rivers and seas back on the road to recovery.

“This is Scotland’s largest ever fund for nature and a vital opportunity to take positive action now and halt nature loss.”

Find out more about the Nature Restoration Fund and how to apply for this year’s funding on the NatureScot website at nature.scot/funding-and-projects

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