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The money will be administered by the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund which encourages individuals and communities to do their bit for the environment under the banner ‘think global, act local’.

Local authorities will match-fund projects within their districts and applicants will also be expected to bring their own funding to the table in most cases.

Agenda 21 was born out of the Rio Summit in 1991 and encourages greater participation by communities in local decision making for sustainable development.

The theme of projects this year will focus on environmental awareness and action including projects complementing the government’s Race Against Waste campaign.

Environment Minister Dick Roche said: “This fund is a very practical way for individuals and communities to take ownership of issues affecting their local environment and to work in partnership with their local authority to solve environmental problems and change behaviour in favour of the environment.”

This scheme has been very popular with local communities since it was first introduced in 1997.

Last year a total of 208 projects received funding under the scheme in Ireland.

By Sam Bond

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