Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s ‘Collaborative Action for the Natura Network’ (CANN) project is a finalist at this year’s prestigious Innovations in Politics Awards. This Europe-wide competition, now in its fifth year, asks politicians from all over Europe to submit their most outstanding political initiatives.
The Council’s CANN project was nominated as an exceptional example of how partners working together across borders are developing practical solutions to address the urgent issues of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said, “The CANN project aims to improve the condition of protected habitats and priority species. I am immensely proud of the final position which the project has secured in the Innovations in Politics Awards, as well as the strength of partnership working evident across councils, charities, academic institutions and government departments, in pursuit of a common goal, to improve environmental conditions.”
A jury of over 1,000 European citizens, selected the finalists from over 400 entries put forward from across Europe. The CANN Project has secured a position in the final ten of the Ecology Awards section. The winners of each of the nine categories will receive one of the coveted trophies in a special awards ceremony held later this year.
The CANN project works with 11 partners to improve the condition of protected habitats and to support priority species found within Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Scotland, ensuring that conservation targets are met and the future of these internationally important habitats and species are protected.
The CANN project has secured funding of €9.4 million through the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme and the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding is also provided by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland, NatureScot in Scotland and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in Ireland. The CANN project team will produce Conservation Action Plans for a range of sites across the jurisdictions which are designated as Special Areas of Conservation, accumulatively accounting for over 3,150 hectares of land.