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More than 650 environmental projects supported across Estonia

Funding decision
Image: Anneli Seppel

The Council of the Environmental Investment Centre (EIC) has decided to support 653 projects in nine sectors for a total amount of 11,453,516 euros from the National Environment Programme. The call for proposals asked for 2.6 times more funding than the budget for the call allows.  

Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse, who currently also serves as the Minister of the Environment and the Chairman of the Council at EIC, noted that it was not an easy task to make the choices, but the contribution of the projects to Estonia’s environment turned out to be the decisive factor. ‘The projects we have decided to fund will contribute, among other things, to the promotion of the circular economy, the improvement of water and air quality, the promotion of nature conservation, the raising of environmental awareness among the population, and the fisheries and marine environment,’ Kruuse said. 

According to Andrus Treier, the Chief Executive Officer at EIC, all the projects that have received funding will help to ensure that we all have a good natural environment to live in and to manage. ‘Connecting apartment buildings to a district heating system, developing environmentally sustainable packaging solutions, carrying out activities to raise environmental awareness, acquiring anti-pollution equipment for a small harbour, carrying out a range of much-needed research at universities or building new recreational fishing infrastructure; all of them as a whole will contribute to a better tomorrow,’ Treier added. 

The largest grants will be awarded in the areas of water management, environmental awareness, and the circular economy. Environmental awareness projects, including field trips for schools and kindergartens, are the most supported. 

Programme 

Number of funded projects, pc. 

Grant, € 

Atmospheric air protection 

19 

527 433

Co-funding

391 833 

Fisheries

42 

614 633  

Environmental awareness 

54 

675 761 

Field trips for schools and kindergartens (Simplified Environmental Awareness Programme) 

463 

1 169 600 

Nature conservation 

374 683

Marine environment

11 

600 000 

Forestry

22 

899 975 

Circular economy 

11 

998 833 

Water management 

22 

5 200 765  

Total

653  

11 453 516 

A summary table of funded projects can be found here

 

In the field of atmospheric air protection, the connection of several apartment buildings in Tartu, Tallinn, Pärnu, and the village of Melliste to district heating will be supported. A grant will also be provided for the conversion of an apartment building in Põltsamaa to geothermal heating and for a project to draw up a radon risk map of Narva. 

In fisheries, grants will be provided for the organisation of fishing camps and study days for children and adults, the organisation of fishing competitions, and the participation of Estonian representative teams in international championships. The establishment and upgrading of infrastructure to boost recreational fishing will be supported, for example, in Lake Keeri, Lake Vagula, and Lake Saadjärv. In addition, a grant will be provided for a number of scientific studies, the organisation of fish protection in the spawning rivers, the operation of an information centre for recreational fishing, the creation of interactive learning tools on fish, the stocking of eels, and the management of cormorants to protect nesting areas.

The marine environment programme supports a number of marine research projects and educational programmes on marine litter in kindergartens and schools. The anti-pollution sub-programme will support the purchase of anti-pollution equipment to ensure better preparedness in the port of Orissaare and on the Pärispea peninsula. In addition, a grant will be provided for the deployment of a special collection technology for ship washwater. 

The co-funding programme provides co-funding support for projects that receive core support from pan-European funds (e.g., LIFE, Interreg). Grants were given for the development and implementation of landscape management methods that promote biodiversity in urban environments, as in the city of Tartu, and for the restoration of the Baltic sturgeon population in rivers formerly used as habitats by this species.  

In the water management sector, EIC will support the construction of shared water supply and sewerage infrastructure in the small towns of Vasalemma and Mooste, and in the villages of Ääsmäe, Kavastu, Leevi, and Luua, and the reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant in the village of Haanja and the small town of Veriora. The grant will be used to clean up residual pollution in Tartu, Virtsu, and Kohtla-Järve. 

In the field of nature conservation, for example, a grant will be provided for inventories of meadow ecosystems and grassland and marshy meadows, for the collection of data on the population density of breeding birds, and for a bird population inventory of Natura 2000 sites. 

Eight studies in forestry will be funded, in which researchers from both the Estonian University of Life Sciences and Tallinn University of Technology will collect the necessary basic data, new knowledge about the carbon cycle, and search for new outputs in terms of less-used tree species in the forestry industry, etc. It will support investment in tree nurseries and communication projects, publish scientific journals, train private forest owners, create a platform for cooperation on forest management and carbon sequestration, and promote international exchange programmes for forestry students. 

In the area of environmental awareness, a grant will be provided for nationwide information campaigns, the organisation of environmental festivals, and 226 educational events for nearly 19,000 people. Examples of beneficiaries include the Matsalu Nature Film Festival, the Greens’ Environmental Cycling Programme, and the Nature Festival. The grant will be used to broadcast 72 TV programmes and 58 radio programmes, such as ‘Osoon’, ‘Jälg’, and ‘Ökoloogiliselt’. They bring a wide range of environmental and nature information to 550,000 viewers and listeners. A total of 21 camps will be organised for children with an interest in nature. Nearly 120,000 pupils participate in the 6,000 active environmental education programmes in the last year of kindergarten and basic school. 

In the circular economy, a grant will be given for the development of environmentally sustainable packaging solutions, the reuse of bicycles, and workshop activities. Funding will be provided for four studies that will expand the possibilities for the reuse of excavated sites and waste, develop technical options for the regeneration of hardwood plantation ecosystems, the biotechnological valorisation of wood and food waste, and the introduction of the principles of the circular economy of horticultural peat produced in Estonia.  

On 29 August, EIC will once again open a call for proposals for specific circular economy and nature conservation activities under the National Environment Programme. Details of the activities supported can be found on the EIC website. Applications can be submitted online until 17.00 on 30 September 2022. 
Local authorities, non-profit organisations, foundations, businesses, universities, educational establishments, as well as a wide range of environmental organisations and self-employed people are invited to submit environmental projects. Application for a grant takes place under the ‘Procedure and Conditions for Granting Support from the Environmental Programme’. The grant was developed by the Ministry of the Environment. 

Contact

Rita Jürmann

Head of the Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency Area

6 274 122 Email
Summary table of funded projects (in Estonian)