The application round will be opened for specific activities in the fields of water economy, forestry, nature conservation, environmental awareness, fisheries, atmospheric air protection, the marine environment, and the circular economy.
According to Rene Kokk, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the EIC and Minister of the Environment, the Ministry of the Environment is focusing this year on the circular economy, biodiversity, forestry and the climate. ‘Since the target group for the application round is broad and the list of supported activities is long, we are hoping that different interest groups will submit projects to the application round that will help to find solutions to these topical environmental issues,’ he says. It should also be noted that, once again, we are waiting for all schools and nursery schools to apply for grants for study visits. In addition, this year we will be supporting resource efficiency projects for companies in the circular economy. Apartment associations will also be able to request grants for replacing heaters or for joining their local district heating system.’
‘We are launching the call for applications under a new regulation; one that is easier to read and more clearly structured than before. Therefore, we hope that the application process will also be easier for interest groups,’ explains Andrus Treier, Chief Executive Officer of the EIC. ‘If you should have any questions, I encourage you to ask the EIC’s staff for help and advice. Two information days will already be taking place next week, in order to explain supporting activities in greater detail.’
A total of EUR 4.1 million from the budget for the round will be directed to the circular economy, in order to support, for example, resource efficiency within companies, prevention of waste generation and hazardous waste collection rounds or the implementation of a green office and school. A total of EUR 3.9 million will be directed towards the water economy, to ensure the availability of high-quality drinking water and sewerage service across Estonia. A total of EUR 2.1 million has been earmarked for environmental awareness projects, in order to support, for example, the creation of media, information campaigns and various environmental awareness-raising activities and children's study visits. A total of EUR 1.2 million will be allocated to nature conservation, which will support, among other things, the establishment of observation towers, information points and permanent exhibitions on nature studies at visitor centres for protected sites, the implementation of action plans for protected species and habitats, and the implementation of measures to control invasive species, and the preparation and implementation of management plans for nationally protected parks.
In the field of forestry, a total of EUR 700,000 in support will be allocated for the production of forest trees, forestry science and education outreach programmes and activities aimed at ensuring the sustainable development of forestry. A total of EUR 650,000 has been set aside for atmospheric air protection projects, in order to support, for example, the development of noise reduction action plans, research to reduce radiation risks and the connection of apartment associations to district heating networks or the replacement of heating equipment with equipment that operates on renewable fuel equipment. The budget for fisheries is EUR 449,000, in order to support, for example, the organisation of fishing competitions, seminars and camps, the establishment of infrastructure to support environmentally friendly recreational fishing, or the creation, restoration of or access to spawning grounds and habitats to increase and protect fish stocks. A total of EUR 435,000 from the round’s budget will be directed to the marine environment, with support going to, among other things, an assessment of the state of the sea and the gathering of the data necessary for this, implementing the port pollution control plan, restoring coastal areas damaged by pollution or increasing preparedness for pollution control. All supported activities can be found on the EIC homepage.
The process of applying takes place in the traditional manner, via the data system KIKAS. The deadline for the application round is 16 March 2020. Application round information days will be taking place on 18 February, in Tartu (Dorpat Hotel, Soola 6) and 20 February, in Tallinn (Park Inn Hotel, Narva mnt 7c). Information days are comprised of eight mini-seminars, allowing applicants to come and listen to the areas that interest them. Additional information and registration on the EIC homepage.
Projects, in regard to which a financing decision has been made, will be revealed by St. Johns Day of this year. 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.