“We have been intensively striving to increase the overall allocation of the Norway Grants program since the end of our first call, SGS-3 Oslo, which focused on the preparation of adaptation and mitigation strategies at the local level. We received many quality applications in the call and we considered it unfortunate that after the funds were used up, we still had a number of really interesting projects left behind,” explains Petr Valdman, director of the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic.
“We, therefore, turned to colleagues from the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic and the Norwegian Environmental Agency, which represents the donor party in our program, and asked for an increase in the overall allocation. In November last year, we were informed that we would receive another 2.32 million euros for subsidy projects in the field of environmental protection. Additional funds will be added by the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic from its own resources and the total increase in the allocation will reach the amount of 2.73 million euros, ie approximately 71 million crowns,“ adds Petr Valdman.
The increase in the budget will be used primarily to finance projects that have fallen into the project pools. These are projects adopted under the Oslo Call, for adaptation strategies, and the Bergen Call, which supports nature-friendly measures based on those proposed from adaptation and mitigation strategies. “We have seen great interest from our applicants in the calls that respond to climate change. This was also in the Bergen call, where the submitted applications exceeded the originally planned allocation by more than 100 percent. Therefore, we decided that most of the obtained reserve will be used for this call,” describes Petr Valdman. The Fund will transfer the remaining amount to the upcoming two-stage call “Call 3B Trondheim”, which will support pilot projects to protect waters from pollution by medicament residues. This call will be launched at the beginning of April.
In 2021, the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic plans to announce four new calls from the Norway Grants program. They will cover pilot projects in ecosystems, the protection of waters against pollution by medicament residues, and the acquisition of infrastructure or the development of new analytical methods in the field of monitoring of pollutants in surface waters. There will also be support for sensory monitoring of air quality from the point of view of the influence of local heating plants.