Public call for forestry promotion proposals announced

A public call has been launched for proposals in the area of forestry promotion, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle, announced today.

The call is encouraging innovative proposals which will highlight “the multi-functional benefits” of forestry in Ireland over the next two years.

In announcing the call, Minister Doyle said: “We know forestry delivers many benefits in Ireland, particularly economic, social and environmental benefits.

While we have a relatively low level of forest cover in Ireland, compared to other European countries, there is huge potential to develop and grow Irish forestry to enable us and future generations to enjoy those benefits.

The minister said the Government continues to “pro-actively assist and support the development” of Irish forestry through the National Forestry Programme.

“This call for proposals will drive some creative and innovative ideas that will increase public awareness of the multi-functional benefits of forestry, to promote a higher level of tree planting and to encourage existing forest owners to maximize the benefits of their resource,” he added.

The department has advised that the proposals being sought should demonstrate a degree of consultation, discussion and engagement with other like-minded groups.

They should also seek to co-ordinate actions with other entities such as community groups for example, creating partnerships that will result in actions that will have a wider impact.

Minister Doyle added: “At a national and global level, forestry plays an important role in climate change mitigation through carbon capture. However, we should not underestimate the benefits of forestry in our immediate environs.

There are the income and employment benefits but also recreational opportunities and contribution to biodiversity. Irish native woodlands, for example, are an integral part of our natural heritage, history and culture, and are unique in terms of their biodiversity.

“This call will generate some new and innovative ideas which will raise awareness amongst Irish people of the wonderful resource which is Irish forestry,” the minister concluded.