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14. Funding communities to engage in protecting waters - Fran Igoe, LAWPRO


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On 17 and 18 June 2020 the EPA held its National Water Event as an online conference.

This year's theme was 'Restoring our waters'.

This years event was free to attend. It was the EPA's largest water event ever, with over 1250 attending.

To everyone who joined us: thanks for attending; thanks for your probing questions; thanks for your passion; thanks for caring about our waters. We can achieve more working together.

Special thanks to all our presenters and the team who worked behind the scenes to make sure this years conference happened.

For science and stories about water quality in Ireland, check out

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14. Funding communities to engage in protecting waters - Fran Igoe, LAWPRO

  1. 1. Communities in Action Funding Communities to Engage in Protecting Waters - An Introduction Fran Igoe, Local Authority Waters Programme
  2. 2. Overview • Why the need to fund to communities to engage in water protection? • What funding is out there? • Accessibility of funding • LAWPRO role & experience • Strategic approach • Ambition
  3. 3. Why Fund Communities to Engage in Protecting Waters? • Increase community participation in their local waterbodies • Pride of place • Fulfilment, enjoyment and increased sense of community • Increase potential to bring in additional funding to address water quality issues • Improve water quality We need to think about funding for: 1. communities involvement in projects 2. continuous engagement
  4. 4. Importance of engaging communities in WFD John Dewey (1963) philosopher advocated project-based learning to help students learn together and through direct experience. Experience and education (image courtesy ITMA VirginiaTech.)
  5. 5. Examples of potential funding streams for communities to help protect waters Up to €25,000 (typically < €5,000) €1,000 - €200,000 €1,000 - €40,000 (typically <10,000) €50,000- €20m Various LA schemes eg. Environment Action Fund, Community Water Development Fund LEADER, IFI, FLAGS Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme; Heritage Council, Arts Council LEADER Cooperation, EU LIFE, European Innovation Partnerships, EU INTERREG, Horizon 2020 Above figures are rough guidelines – there are exceptions to the stated amounts Funding stream Funding ballpark
  6. 6. Examples of potential funding streams for communities to help protect waters Up to €25,000 (typically < €5,000) €1,000 - €200,000 €1,000 - €40,000 (typically <10,000) €50,000- €20m Awareness raising, signage, small ground works Larger scale engagement, reach scale restoration and invasive species removal projects, often multiple stakeholders Visioning exercises, invasive species removal, larger ground works Subcatchment to intra-catchment projects, multiple partners and stakeholders, multiple pressures addressed Above figures are rough guidelines – there are exceptions to the stated amounts Community action Funding ballpark
  7. 7. What type of on the ground projects do we encourage? • Any project that aims to enhance water quality! • Some at catchment scale • Most much smaller • Context of local area • Bring in Biodiversity and Climate benefits a bonus • Integrate into a larger project start small with pilots and expand into larger strategic projects
  8. 8. • Capacity of communities • Matching funding, • Special permissions, • Proprietary rights • Community understanding limited • Unsure of types of projects • Environmental projects complicated • Animation of communities • Application complex and time consuming • LCDC animation * Information from surveys conducted with LEADER Development Officers, LEADER CEOs & ILDN and Community Water Officers in 2017 Constraints to community access
  9. 9. Engagement with Local Community Development Committee Chief Officers – a dialog between LAWPRO & LCDCs 2020
  10. 10. Community Water Development Fund - set up specifically in encourage greater community engagement Education/Awareness Applications Received by Project Type – Open Call €225,000
  11. 11. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Tidy Towns Env/Biodiversity/Heritage/Tourist Group Dev/Residents Assoc Social Enterprise/Company with no Share Capital River Trust/Catchment Assoc Angling Club/Assoc Other Festival/Event Group CWDF Open call 2020 = €225,000; 145 Applications
  12. 12. Integrating water & community objectives to built projects Incorporate water objectives to Town and Village Renewal Scheme CLÁR Scheme Urban regeneration Public Realm projects Blueways Greenways So significant roles for LAs Courtesy P. O’Dwyer, TCC
  13. 13. How can larger scale projects be achieved? • Increase collaboration across funding streams (e.g., CWDF, IFI, Climate Action etc) at a minimum • Take a multi–agency approach to project development, assessment and regulation (e.g., a process to assess & support projects) • Identify areas where the “multiple benefits” align
  14. 14. Generally:- Agency interaction ideally should be • Supportive and open • Engage with communities at the right level at the right time • Regulation oversight should be collaborative • Bureaucratic burden (& costs) kept to a minimum Remember – - Community volunteers are busy - Focus community energy to where it is best spent
  15. 15. Looking ahead • Environmental projects not like other standard projects • Encourage landscape approach incorporating Integrated Catchment Management & communities • Encourage smart projects – tie in with other objectives & funding
  16. 16. Finally • Communities have an important role • Capacity issues for communities needs attention to sustain projects • Funding needs to be targeted and accessible • Is there a need for a new funding framework to support projects for Water, Biodiversity, Climate?
  17. 17. Thank you Special thanks to Sheevaun Thompson, Ray Spain and Bernie Flaherty for their assistance with this presentation, our CWOs, and the many community groups we have been working with.