Applications are now being accepted for a new rural development scheme aimed at protecting and enhancing Scotland’s magnificent natural environment. The £10 million Environmental Co-operation Action Fund is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and European Union under the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.
It is the first ever scheme specifically developed to fund the facilitation of landscape-scale projects that meet the Scottish Government’s environmental priorities. The purpose of Environmental Cooperation Action Fund is to encourage and support landscape-scale environmental projects involving cooperating groups of farmers, foresters and/or other land managers. Funding is targeted to deliver the following priorities, which are most effectively addressed at a landscape scale and contribute to meeting Scotland’s targets for biodiversity, climate change and water environment.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: “People who work the land are the custodians of Scotland’s magnificent natural environment. Our country’s stunning landscapes, iconic wildlife and diverse ecosystems are world-renowned and underpin our rural economy.
“This fund will support collaborative projects aimed at increasing biodiversity, improving water quality and managing flooding – measures that will not only protect the environment, but help it thrive and flourish.
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“And, with the agriculture and land use sector accounting for a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, this scheme will also contribute to Scotland’s world-leading climate change targets as part of the greenest Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) we have ever had.”