The Scottish Government has announced a £12.5 million fund for projects aimed at protecting the country’s biodiversity.
The next round of the Nature Restoration Fund opened on Wednesday, building on a previous investment of £5 million for 54 projects announced in November.
Initiatives that help animals, woodlands, river and sea recovery and improve the health and wellbeing of communities will be able to apply for up to £250,000 in support.
Biodiversity minister, Lorna Slater, said Scotland’s natural environment is “already heavily degraded”, adding: “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.”
NatureScot CEO, Francesca Osowka, 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.”
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