‘When making our decision, we were guided by the importance and impact of the projects on nature’, explained Rene Kokk, Minister of the Environment and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the EIC. ‘The largest grant amount was received by the area of water management, which will certainly improve the quality of our groundwater and will result in thousands of people receiving compliant drinking water’, the Minister added.
‘In the coming years, a lot of good things will be carried out in Estonia for the benefit of the environment – providing students and nursery school children with new knowledge of nature, connecting apartment houses to district heating, helping companies to increase their resource efficiency, and supporting university research. All over Estonia – from Kuressaare to Otepää’, said EIC Director Andrus Treier, as he introduced the supported projects.
Environmental awareness projects, including school and nursery school courses, are the most supported. The largest grant amounts shall be allocated to projects in the water and circular economy.
In the protection of atmospheric air, the development of several noise maps is being supported, such as in the areas of Luunja, Valga, Tapa, Viimsi and Saaremaa, and in the cities of Tallinn, Tartu and Põlva. In addition to the connecting of several apartment buildings to district heating.
In fisheries, EIC supports, among other things, the Võrtsjärve fishing camp for 80 children, the construction of infrastructure supporting recreational fishing on the Keila River, and the organisation of international fishing sports competitions in Paunküla.
From environmental awareness projects, a series of short clips, supported by the EIC, will be broadcast on ETV during the autumn season, highlighting the Estonia’s nature and acknowledging its value. The Tallinn Zoo exhibition – which presents the diversity of insects and their important role in the functioning of the world’s ecosystem – also received support. A total of 104,864 students and nursery school children will have the opportunity to visit the natural and environmental education centres.
In nature conservation, park maintenance, control of alien species, and increasing the rehabilitation capacity of wildlife rehabilitation centres will be supported. Surveys of bat shelter locations in the Kadrioru region and a number of studies related to other species are also being supported.
In the marine environment, the EIC is providing support, for example, to the open sea study on marine litter monitoring at the University of Tartu, during which the impact of macro-litter on the sea will be primarily mapped and assessed. A financial contribution will also be made to support the project by the Estonian Fund for Nature, which aims to increase the capacity for including volunteers to participate in pollution prevention and wildlife rescue.
In Forestry major research projects will be funded. One of the projects examines carbon balance dynamics at a growth site following clear cutting, and the other project will result in establishing a pan-Estonian network of sample areas for shelterwood cutting, selection cutting, and permanent forestry.
In the circular economy, support was received by the Re-Use Centre, which will install portable collection bins in Tartu, Tallinn, Pärnu and Narva. The Estonian-Dutch Charity Fund project ‘Rescuing donated food by deep-freezing it’ is also being supported. Eight companies received support for resource-efficient investments. For example, for Saku Õlletehas to purchase CO2 capture and recovery equipment, and Puiduhake.com to purchase a mobile crusher.
As a result of support in the area of water management, 4518 people will be able to access suitable drinking water. In addition, for example, a residual pollution site located at Magasini 35, in Tallinn, will be liquidated, and a fish pass will be built in Saunja, in Lääne County.
All funded projects can be found on the EIC website where it is possible to search for supported projects by county.
A total of 986 applications for support were submitted for the Environment Programme 2020 application round in the total amount of EUR 46,186,569. Local governments, non-profit associations, foundations, water undertakings, universities and environmental organisations were welcome to apply. Applying for a grant takes place under the Terms and Conditions for Providing Support from the Environmental Programme. The grant was developed by the Ministry of the Environment.