The Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF) is a new and exciting approach to funding. The Fund will accept voluntary donations from users of the marine environment such as shipping, aquaculture, fisheries, renewable energy, oil and gas, and use it to create a grant pot for projects which enhance the natural capital these sectors rely on.
SMEEF reflects the fact that Scotland’s seas are not only an incredibly rich natural resource, but also a shared space with a wide range of industries and activities supporting coastal communities and visitors up and down the coast of Scotland.
The fund will enable users benefiting from the rich natural marine resource to voluntarily re-invest in the health and biodiversity of our seas, thereby safeguarding and enhancing it, to support the sustainable growth of those industries into the future, and in turn help to build a wellbeing economy for Scotland’s coastal communities and visitors. Furthermore it will very much complement Scottish Ministers’ commitment to develop a Blue Economy Action Plan, included in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2020/21 as well as supporting a green recovery from the pandemic.
SMEEF has already attracted the support and commitment of public bodies such as NatureScot, Crown Estate Scotland and Marine Scotland, NGOs including RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the offshore Wind Energy sector during an initial concept-forming phase. Still in its first year, the Fund is busy developing an appropriate governance framework and will soon begin the work of setting criteria for the grants. A formal launch is planned for later in 2021.
The Fund is open for both donations and enquiries, further information can be found in the SMEEF Prospectus. You can also contact the Fund Manager (hosted by NatureScot), Sarah Brown via SMEEF@nature.scot.