Press release: Radical overhaul of Forestry Policy is urgently required.
The Irish Wildlife Trust is calling for a radical overhaul of our forestry sector in response to the climate and biodiversity emergency. On nearly every measure our current forestry model is failing and in particular is driving extinction, water pollution and rural decline.
The IWT would like to see ambitious targets set for woodland cover to approach the European average (30-40%). This should be a combination of vast restoration of native woodlands through rewilding, a commercial forestry sector based on ‘continuous cover’ close-to-nature sylviculture which would eliminate use of chemicals and the practice of clear-felling. The announcement this week that millions of trees are to be planted by the government does not reflect a change of policy and has been clearly designed merely to grab headlines.
IWT campaign officer Pádraic Fogarty says: “Our forestry policy right now is a mess. Only recently the National Parks and Wildlife Service reported that the few fragments of native woodland which remain continues to deteriorate  while vast sums of taxpayers money are pumped into an industrial system of tree planting which offers nothing to our wildlife and is despised by local communities. There is another way which can provide jobs while at the same time restoring collapsed ecosystems and providing a landscape for people to enjoy.”
Please see below the IWT’s policy on forestry and tree cover: