Green fund distributes £3m to enhance Scotland’s coasts and seas - NatureScot

SMEEF - Machair at Gallanach on the Isle of Coll. Credit NatureScot-Lorne Gill
SMEEF - Machair at Gallanach on the Isle of Coll. Credit NatureScot-Lorne Gill

A ground-breaking initiative, which has distributed almost £3 million to transform the health of Scotland’s coasts and seas, opens its first privately-funded grant round today (17 November).

The Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF) is Scotland’s only major green finance initiative, with funding from both the public and private sector, focussed on restoring the marine and coastal environment.

Public sector funding has supported the programme initially: to date, SMEEF has distributed almost £3 million of public sector money to help transform the health of Scotland’s coasts and seas. Now, with fundraising from the private sector going well, the next round of grants will be almost purely supported by businesses. Already, £225,000 has been committed by private donors and another £100,000 is awaiting approval by the SMEEF’s Ethical Contribution Board.

This winter, the world’s focus is on improving nature and the climate, with both the COP27 on climate change taking place now, and new global biodiversity targets being agreed at the UN Biodiversity Conference in Canada (COP15) in December. Alongside the 2023 publication of the new Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, this is a pivotal moment for Scotland to take ambitious action against the nature and climate emergencies.

Since SMEEF launched in May, funding has already been granted to a number of exciting projects, including removing invasive species on the islands of the Forth, establishing an innovative floating garden in the Clyde, and restoring seagrass in Loch Craignish and Orkney.

Today, the fund is once again open for grant applications, this time for project development work such as baseline surveys and feasibility studies. Projects can apply for grants of up to up to £25,000, with the provision for one exceptional award of up to £100,000, for a wide range of activities, including gathering core evidence to support successful restoration of marine species and habitats, as well as projects which assess the effectiveness of programmes. This will provide the basis for continuing, scientifically-based conservation and restoration programmes.

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Posted On: 17/11/2022

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