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Innovative nature projects awarded funding to drive private investment - Defra

A pioneering new fund to drive private investment in nature and tackle climate change has been awarded to 27 projects

Projects to restore kelp forests, create new woodland, deliver natural flood risk management, and improve water quality are among an initial 27 schemes to benefit from a pioneering new fund to drive private investment in nature and tackle climate change, Defra, the Environment Agency & Natural England have announced today (14 July 2021).

Organisations across England have been awarded up to £100,000 each, as part of the ground-breaking £10 million Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund.

The funding will be used to develop the projects to the point they can provide a return on investment by capturing the value of carbon, water quality, biodiversity and other benefits provided by natural assets such as woodlands, peatlands, catchments and landscapes.

Funding has been awarded to environmental groups, businesses and local authorities to develop projects that protect and enhance nature while also demonstrating innovative approaches to generating revenues from the wide range of benefits that nature provides.

Revenues will be generated through the sale of carbon and biodiversity units, natural flood management benefits and through reduced water treatment costs. In developing these revenue streams, the Fund will help create a pipeline of projects for the private sector to invest in, and develop new funding models that can be scaled and replicated elsewhere.

Projects receiving funding focus on tackling climate change and restoring nature through schemes such as woodland and habitat creation, peatland restoration, sustainable drainage and river catchment management.

Examples include developing a carbon credit model for saltmarshes across England; kelp forest restoration off the Sussex coast; woodland creation in North Yorkshire; and peatland restoration in Greater Manchester.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “To tackle the environmental challenges we face from climate change and biodiversity loss, it is crucial that domestic natural environment projects are able to attract private investment alongside support from the public sector. Unleashing innovation and growing new sources of finance, such as through the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund, are fundamental for delivering nature recovery and developing nature-based solutions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Posted on: 14 July 2021

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