Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
667. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his plans to continue to provide funding for a project (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34979/16]
The Protecting Uplands & Rural Environments (PURE) Project was established on a pilot basis in January 2006 to combat the escalating problem of fly-tipping and small scale illegal dumping in the scenic area encompassed by the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands. PURE is a regional environmental partnership initiative which unites statutory and non-statutory interests in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands including the relevant local authorities, Coillte, the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), Fáilte Ireland and a number of non-statutory organisations represented by the Wicklow Uplands Council.
My Department originally agreed to provide funding of €350,000 over the three year lifespan of the pilot project (2006-2008) through the Environment Fund. The original three year period expired at the end of 2008 and, following a positive review of the effectiveness of the project, the Department agreed to extend the lifetime of the project for two further three year terms, 2009-2011, 2012-2014, and then for an additional two year period from 2015-2016. An allocation of funding in the amount of €90,000 per annum was provided over the most recent funding commitment, which runs until December 2016.
My Department recently received a proposal to extend the lifetime of the PURE project for a further term. The proposal is being examined in the context of my Department’s consideration of Environment Fund allocations for 2017, and I expect to make a decision shortly.