The nature conservation grants of the Environmental Investment Centre

The Environmental Investment Centre (EIC) has been operating for over 20 years and supported many projects


The EIC supports Estonian nature conservation activities in several different ways. Various measures and programmes fund a number of activities for planning the development of nature conservation, restoring, maintaining, and organising the protection of protected natural objects, and developing nature conservation infrastructure. Observation towers and hiking trails have been built or fixed up, parks have been maintained, and problematic species have been controlled. Various studies and inventories have also been carried out, conservation management guidelines have been developed, databases have been streamlined, nature education has been promoted, and various publications have been issued to raise environmental awareness.


The EIC has been operating for over 20 years and supported many projects. You can read more about them here.


The EIC is the implementer of the environmental programme supported by state funds. In order to preserve Estonian nature and preserve biodiversity, nature conservation activities are supported through several sectoral programmes. These are the nature conservation, fisheries, forestry, marine environment, and environmental awareness programmes.


The action plan for rebuilding fish stocks supports the restoration and conservation of fish biodiversity. The aim of the action plan is to improve the status and increase the number of endangered fish species, including protected fish species. Support is granted for the rebuilding of fish stocks of certain fish species, such as the introduction of farmed juveniles into water bodies. For example, eel, brown trout, and crayfish populations have been restored in this way. In addition, the EIC supports the creation and restoration of or ensuring access to spawning grounds or habitats to increase and protect fish stocks. Funding has been provided for the elimination of dams, construction of fishing passages, dredging of water bodies, opening of culverts, construction of waterfalls, shelters, spawning cushions, and flow deflectors. These grants come mainly from the fisheries programme on a project-by-project basis.


The forestry programme also contributes to nature conservation, within the framework of which the EIC supports the implementation of long-term development trends in forestry. For example, funding is provided for the acquisition of nurseries and nursery equipment, forestry research, and the protection of forest ecosystems. Informing and training of forest owners are also  important.


Human activities on land also directly or indirectly affect the state of the marine environment. The activities funded by the marine environment programme are aimed at improving the state of the Estonian marine environment. The EIC provides support for the activities, research, and development work planned in the Estonian marine strategy action plan, which contribute to the assessment of the condition and use of the sea and combat pollution from ships and ports.


In order to introduce biodiversity and nature-friendly lifestyle, the EIC supports activities that expand knowledge and offer a direct experience of nature from the environmental awareness programme: nature evenings and trips, environmental education study programmes and camps, and various media.


The EIC is the Estonian state co-financier of several international cooperation projects, e.g. LIFE.


The EIC is the implementer of the nature conservation activities of the European Union’s Cohesion Fund. These funds are used to implement Estonia’s national obligations [1], with projects for the conservation and restoration of protected species and habitats playing an important role.


The EIC supports the restoration of protected habitats and the investments necessary for the maintenance of heritage meadows. The restoration of protected landscape values (incl. parks) and the research of protected species and habitats, and species protection outside growing sites (so-called ex situ species protection) have also been supported. The EIC’s partners and beneficiaries are the State Forest Management Centre, the Environment Agency, the Environmental Board, and other legal entities [2]. Additional information and links about the measures are provided in the support activites section for the maintenance and restoration of semi-natural communities.


The Cohesion Fund and the state budget financed the project for the restoration of protected habitats in the Pärnu River in 2015–2021. It supported the restoration of protected habitat types and protected species, including the establishment or restoration of spawning grounds and passages for fish, such as the opening of the Sindi Dam for fish migration. The total cost of the project is 15 million euros [3].


The EIC is also the implementer of the European Economic Area’s (EEA) Financial Mechanism 2014–2021 program ‘Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation’. The aim of the programme is to contribute to the mitigation of climate change and to the adaptation to the effects of climate change in Estonia. With the help of EEA funds, the EIC supports, among other things, the preparation of the analysis of the income routes of invasive alien species, the research and development of possibilities and methods of species control, and the control of alien water species. Activities related to the marine environment will support the assessment of the impact of climate change and invasive alien species on Estonian marine ecosystems and the development of appropriate assessment methodologies and guidance materials (including the identification of the distribution of marine habitats valuable for carbon sequestration and a pilot project for the restoration or establishment of such habitats and communities), the assessment of the biological impact of alien species, and the analysis of income pathways and risk areas with mitigation measures.



Last modified: 27.12.2021




[1] Toetus riigi tegevuseks (TORT) | Keskkonnainvesteeringute Keskus (