Forestry

Irish forestry policy is now urgently in need of a full scale review after a recent Judgement of the European Court. Irish law, which covered only 'deliberate' damage to protected species and habitats, must now be changed to include 'unintentional' damage to our biodiversity.

'We are clearfelling and replanting almost 10,000 hectares a year. Much of this is land that was planted for rural employment and has seriously damaged our native species and habitats. Forty years down the line, clearfelling is now causing massive ecological damage.

This EU Judgement has profound significance for forestry, as well as for agriculture, turbary, aquaculture and fisheries. An independent review of Irish forestry policy is now a matter of urgency.

See our PRESS RELEASE.
Irish forestry policy is now urgently in need of a full scale review after a recent Judgement of the European Court. Irish law, which covered only 'deliberate' damage to protected species and habitats, must now be changed to include 'unintentional' damage to our biodiversity.

'We are clearfelling and replanting almost 10,000 hectares a year. Much of this is land that was planted for rural employment and has seriously damaged our native species and habitats. Forty years down the line, clearfelling is now causing massive ecological damage.

This EU Judgement has profound significance for forestry, as well as for agriculture, turbary, aquaculture and fisheries. An independent review of Irish forestry policy is now a matter of urgency.

See our PRESS RELEASE.
PRESS RELEASE 5 MARCH 2007

TREE WEEK CALL FOR POLICY CHANGE AFTER EU COURT RULING

Irish forestry policy is now urgently in need of a full scale review, according the to environmental lobby group Friends of the Irish Environment. The group claims a recent Judgement of the European Court will have 'profound' effects on forestry.

'Current policy dates from ten years ago and doesn't take into account of our new understandings of the importance of native biodiversity. Plantings are still predominantly non-native conifers.'

'We are required to reforest almost 10,000 hectares a year which is now being felled Much of this is land that was planted for rural employment and has seriously damaged our native species and habitats.. More than 70% of some of these sites are being replanting with the environmentally damaging sitka spruce when they should be returned to native biodiversity.'

A review of the Forestry Acts which requiring replanting has been ongoing for 8 years but it excludes a review of Coilte Teo, the State Forestry Board, commercial object.

A recent Judgement against Ireland by the European Court made it clear that the Irish law, which covered only 'deliberate' damage to protected species, must be changed to include 'unintentional' damage to our biodiversity.

This ruling has major significance for forestry, as well as for agriculture, turbary, aquaculture and fisheries. An independent review of Irish forestry policy is now a matter of urgency.

Further information: Tony Lowes 027 73131 / 087 2176316

EU JUDGMENT OF THE COURT, 11 January 2007. Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations, Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, Protection of species. Case C 183/05

PRESS RELEASE 5 MARCH 2007

TREE WEEK CALL FOR POLICY CHANGE AFTER EU COURT RULING

Irish forestry policy is now urgently in need of a full scale review, according the to environmental lobby group Friends of the Irish Environment. The group claims a recent Judgement of the European Court will have 'profound' effects on forestry.

'Current policy dates from ten years ago and doesn't take into account of our new understandings of the importance of native biodiversity. Plantings are still predominantly non-native conifers.'

'We are required to reforest almost 10,000 hectares a year which is now being felled Much of this is land that was planted for rural employment and has seriously damaged our native species and habitats.. More than 70% of some of these sites are being replanting with the environmentally damaging sitka spruce when they should be returned to native biodiversity.'

A review of the Forestry Acts which requiring replanting has been ongoing for 8 years but it excludes a review of Coilte Teo, the State Forestry Board, commercial object.

A recent Judgement against Ireland by the European Court made it clear that the Irish law, which covered only 'deliberate' damage to protected species, must be changed to include 'unintentional' damage to our biodiversity.

This ruling has major significance for forestry, as well as for agriculture, turbary, aquaculture and fisheries. An independent review of Irish forestry policy is now a matter of urgency.

Further information: Tony Lowes 027 73131 / 087 2176316

EU JUDGMENT OF THE COURT, 11 January 2007. Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations, Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, Protection of species. Case C 183/05
Today sees the close of the period of public consultation on the proposed Requirements to protect the fresh water pearl mussel from the impact of forestry clearfelling. The Requirements are a travesty of science and regulation. No environmental assessment has been done. The Terms of Reference included economic criterion, not permitted under the Habitats Directive. The Requirements have no legal authority and are inadequate in geographical scope. 100 rivers are omitted and the extent of the 22 SAC rivers designated to which the protection does apply is limited to 6 km from the mussel, a scientific nonsense as sediment travel in rivers has no limit. The definition of soil types is inadequate; the control of forestry operations is determined initially by the landowner himself. The quality of water required exceeds current standards. We can only hope the Minister considers the wide spread scientific and social indignation. Read Our Submission.
Today sees the close of the period of public consultation on the proposed Requirements to protect the fresh water pearl mussel from the impact of forestry clearfelling. The Requirements are a travesty of science and regulation. No environmental assessment has been done. The Terms of Reference included economic criterion, not permitted under the Habitats Directive. The Requirements have no legal authority and are inadequate in geographical scope. 100 rivers are omitted and the extent of the 22 SAC rivers designated to which the protection does apply is limited to 6 km from the mussel, a scientific nonsense as sediment travel in rivers has no limit. The definition of soil types is inadequate; the control of forestry operations is determined initially by the landowner himself. The quality of water required exceeds current standards. We can only hope the Minister considers the wide spread scientific and social indignation. Read Our Submission.
Six environmentalists wearing green hard hats and reflective vests delivered a Sitka spruce log to the Minister for the Environment to draw attention to the fact that there is no requirement to use any native species in the national afforestation programme, 'Growing for the Future'.

The log was brought to Customs House this morning at the launch of new National Biodiversity Public Awareness Campaign.

The afforestation programme target has just been confirmed under the National Development Plan 2007, 2013 as 20,000 hectares a year until 2036, the most massive land use change in Irish history. Yet not one hectare has to be planted with native species under the current regulations.

In fact the national target of 30% broadleaves is a potential threat to native biodiversity as trees from non-native sources have not adapted to conditions here in Ireland and will interbreed with our better adapted genetic stock and can weaken our genetic base.

FIE's message to the Minister is that the National Biodiversity Plan must require that our national forestry policy is based on native species.


See Our Press Release.

And peruse the Forest Network Newsletters, called by Michael Viney in the Irish Times 'harsh and unforgiving, but often revelatory.'


Six environmentalists wearing green hard hats and reflective vests delivered a Sitka spruce log to the Minister for the Environment to draw attention to the fact that there is no requirement to use any native species in the national afforestation programme, 'Growing for the Future'.

The log was brought to Customs House this morning at the launch of new National Biodiversity Public Awareness Campaign.

The afforestation programme target has just been confirmed under the National Development Plan 2007, 2013 as 20,000 hectares a year until 2036, the most massive land use change in Irish history. Yet not one hectare has to be planted with native species under the current regulations.

In fact the national target of 30% broadleaves is a potential threat to native biodiversity as trees from non-native sources have not adapted to conditions here in Ireland and will interbreed with our better adapted genetic stock and can weaken our genetic base.

FIE's message to the Minister is that the National Biodiversity Plan must require that our national forestry policy is based on native species.


See Our Press Release.

And peruse the Forest Network Newsletters, called by Michael Viney in the Irish Times 'harsh and unforgiving, but often revelatory.'

FIE has today filed a formal Grievance with the Irish Forestry Certification Initiative, the body accredited in Ireland by the Forest Stewardship Council International to develop a forestry standard for the country. No notice about the Public Consultation Meetings which are to introduce the revised Draft Standard for Ireland were given to many stakeholders in spite of FSC International making this a condition of their recent accreditation. FIE received notice two days after the only Dublin meeting and the Cork advertisements in the newspapers gave the wrong month. The locations were unsuitable and if you did actually attend one of these 'Public Consultations' your views would not be recorded unless you made a subsequent submission in writing. FIE, who are a member of FSC International, will seek to have IFCI's accreditation withdrawn unless the Public Consultation is made meaningful.

FIE has today filed a formal Grievance with the Irish Forestry Certification Initiative, the body accredited in Ireland by the Forest Stewardship Council International to develop a forestry standard for the country. No notice about the Public Consultation Meetings which are to introduce the revised Draft Standard for Ireland were given to many stakeholders in spite of FSC International making this a condition of their recent accreditation. FIE received notice two days after the only Dublin meeting and the Cork advertisements in the newspapers gave the wrong month. The locations were unsuitable and if you did actually attend one of these 'Public Consultations' your views would not be recorded unless you made a subsequent submission in writing. FIE, who are a member of FSC International, will seek to have IFCI's accreditation withdrawn unless the Public Consultation is made meaningful.