Biodiversity Funding

Funding for Biodiversity related projects are available from a number of National, European and International sources. The sections below provide information on different sources of funding available.


At a national level, funding for biodiversity related initiatives are available from a number of sources including those listed below. Many of these agencies change the emphasis of their environmental funding from year to year and not all provide biodiversity related funding every year.

The Heritage Council is a statutory independent body, established under the Heritage Act, 1995. The Council's statutory functions include proposing policies and priorities for the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage, and promoting education, knowledge and pride in, and facilitating appreciation and enjoyment of our heritage. The Heritage Council provides funding for individuals and agencies who wish to carry out projects related to the conservation of Ireland's heritage.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. The other main instruments from which it derives its mandate are the Waste Management Act, 1996, and the Protection of the Environment Act, 2003. The EPA has a wide range of functions to protect the environment. The EPA also provides funding for environmental research which may include biodiversity research.

The Marine Institute is Ireland's national agency with responsibility to undertake, co-ordinate, promote and assist in marine research and development and to provide such services related to marine research and development, that in the opinion of the Institute will promote economic development and create employment and protect the environment. The Marine Institute provides funding for biodiversity related research in the marine environment.

The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) is funded by the State under the National Development Plan. Their Embark Initiative is aimed at knowledge creation for the long-term benefit of society and the economy. Embark currently funds research in the areas of basic research, Post-graduate research and Post-doctoral research, which may occasionally include biodiversity related research.

Teagasc is a semi-state organisation established under legislation enacted by the Irish government. It provides integrated research, advisory and training services for the agriculture and food industry in Ireland. Under the Walsh Post-graduate Fellowship Scheme, Teagasc provides support and funding for Post-graduate research in all aspects of agriculture, horticulture, food, agri-food economics, rural development and rural environment, as well as specific topics identified for priority funding each year.

The Forest Service is responsible for ensuring the development of forestry within Ireland in a manner and to a scale that maximises its contribution to national socio-economic well-being on a sustainable basis that is compatible with the protection of the environment. Funding may be available for biodiversity related forestry research from time to time. These funds were expended by COFORD (The National Council for Forest Research and Development).


EU LIFE is the Financial Instrument for the Environment, introduced in 1992, is one of the spearheads of the European Union's environmental policy. It co-finances projects in three areas: Life-Nature, Life Environment and Life Third Countries.

The European Science Foundation (ESF) is an association of 78 member organisations devoted to scientific research in 30 European countries. Criteria for membership of ESF are currently under review. Since establishment in 1974, ESF have coordinated a wide range of pan-European scientific initiatives. Following agreement with funding agencies from a number of European countries, the European Science Foundation launched a first Call for Outline Proposals for research projects to be executed under the EUROCORES programme Challenges of Biodiversity Science (EuroDIVERSITY). The programme will run for six years and includes national research funding and a European networking component.


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the leading multilateral entity responding to the global threat to biodiversity. It is a fund specifically established to support the CBD and other global environment agreements. GEF provides money for developing countries and those with economies in transition to meet the extra costs of protecting the environment in the global interest.

As a member of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Irish researchers can apply for the funding opportunities that they occasionally announce.