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Minister Durkan Launches the Environment Fund

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, today launched The Environment Fund – a grant programme which will support projects whose aims are to:

  • ensure good habitat quality, landscape and species abundance and diversity; and
  • promote health, well-being, resource efficiency and sustainable economic development. 

The Minister said “This grant programme will help tackle the most acute environmental priorities facing us in the North.  It will go directly to projects that protect and improve the environment that we and future generations live in. It will reduce marine litter, galvanise volunteer effort, improve air quality, deliver on the Biodiversity Strategy and provide outdoor recreation opportunities for us to enjoy our environment” 

The grant programme is open to eligible not-for-profit organisations and councils and applications are being accepted until 10 December 2015.  Application details will be available on the Department’s website from 12 November 2015. 

11 November 2015

Community Planning is Here: Get Involved!

We have successfully secured a Civic Activism Award from Building Change Trust for a new project ‘Community Planning is here: Get Involved!’.  The project aims to raise awareness of the new power of Community Planning and to provide opportunities to get involved in shaping Community Planning processes.  We will work with councils and community development network organisations in three new local council areas to test a number of engagement tools to encourage people to participate in Community Planning.  These are in:

Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council

  • Pop Up Democracy
  • Participatory Card Games

Mid and East Antrim District Council

  • Public Forums
  • Citizen Reporting

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

  • Community Visioning
  • Citizen Reporting

To find out more about the project contact Louise O’Kane on 028 9023 9444 or  #getinvolved

5 August 2015

Mid Ulster Council Launches Consultation on SCI

Mid Ulster District Council has published its draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) for public consultation. 

Under the Council’s new planning responsibilities the Statement of Community Involvement sets out the policy for involving people and communities in the Council’s planning functions. The Statement of Community Involvement explains who, how and when people and communities can participate in the different stages of the Local Development Plan process and on the decision making of planning applications.

The draft Statement of Community Involvement can be viewed online.  The consultation runs until 25 September 2015 - comments can be made by email or in writing to the Council's Magherafelt Offices (50 Ballyronan Road, BT45 6EN).


23 July 2015

Belfast Agenda Event for Young People

As part of its community engagement on the Community Plan for Belfast - The Belfast Agenda - Belfast City Council has organised a consultation event specifically for young people.  It will be held in the Banqueting Hall of the City Hall on Monday, 27 July 2015 from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm.  Email Aine Hargey at the Council to secure a place.

7 July 2015

New Biodiversity Strategy Published

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, today published a new biodiversity strategy for the region.  The Strategy is called “Valuing Nature” and its overall objective is halting the loss of our natural environment.

Actions aimed at preserving biodiversity outlined in the Strategy include:

  • restoring 240 hectares of ancient woodland;
  • delivering grassland conservation training to over 500 landowners; and
  • delivering peatland and wetland habitat restoration around the Lough Neagh basin.

In launching the Strategy, the Minister said: “The strategy contains a range of actions to safeguard our natural environment. Valuing Nature is an appropriate name as nature provides us with the key elements of life; food, clean air, water, flora and fauna.  The Strategy recognises that making progress to protect the natural environment requires commitment from a wide range of bodies including local government, business and the voluntary sector. 

The Minister continued: “Protecting our wide range of valuable species and habitats is a responsibility for society to address.  DoE or indeed government alone cannot ensure a healthy natural environment.”

1 July 2015