Deforestation remains one of the most significant factors in
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With regard to the ‘Role, functions and operations of Coillte.’ Joe Gowran There are many issues about the way Coillte operates, the impacts of clearfelling, fertiliser and pesticide application, and particularly when venturing beyond its core remit in Forest Resource Management, with the sale and leasing of public lands (IFORUT) to contribute to funding Salaries, Bonuses and Pensions. Other issues include: Deforestation: A ban on the sale of public lands that contributes to deforestation or the full value of a sale to be reinvested in afforestation only. Flooding and Landslide: Redesign Plantation Forests to phase out clearfelling. Biodiversity and FMU’s: Coillte have sought to apply the biodiversity guidelines on a Forest Management Unit (FMU) basis as distinct from a per each site basis that Forest Service wants – the solution may be to apply the biodiversity guidelines on a townland by townland basis Annual Report on SFM Governance of Coillte Teo by Forest Service Long term management of publicly owned forests: Maintain public ownership of Coillte’s Forest Assets – Consider a multi stakeholder leasing model (community and local authorities and local commercial enterprises) in restructuring of the Semi State forestry sector. This should include ending the sale of Coillte forest property. Transfer more sensitive sites to NPWS Potential benefits: Annual Revenue from Leases to fund monitoring of SFM by FS and the purchase of further lands for afforestation. variation in management styles, delivering more diverse silviculture systems impacting positively on biodiversity, at a townland scale provide opportunities for young foresters, who have no access to a ‘home’ forest. Change the dynamics of timber markets and rural employment, ending the Coillte monopoly on the supply side Greater role for the Forest Service/NPWS as Regulatory Authorities. 40 year leaseholders eligible for grant supports Revenue from sell off of non core aspects of Coillte business Better economy of scale to support specialised tree cover staff in local authorities. More diverse employment opportunities for operative, technician and manager grades Existing lease example: Coillte currently leases land to the Irish Forestry Unit Trust (IFORUT) on a short term basis c.10years, as a means of forward selling the standing timber to improve current cashflow, the land reverts to Coillte once the timber is harvested. Coillte continues to manage the sites during the leases, for IFORUT to retain existing FSC certification. IFORUT includes Coillte pension funds Public access and amenities are retained in the IFORUT model. Please note: the profile of the IFORUT portfolio is currently 96% coniferous species. ‘State forestry policy’ submission from Joe Gowran Annual Public Reporting on SFM Governance of Coillte Teo by Forest Service Ring fencing a proportion of the new Carbon Tax for Tree Cover annually Deforestation remains one of the most significant factors in destabilising human life on Planet Earth. Ireland needs to take a decisive lead in the implementation of FLEGT and the new EU Council Regulation of 28/1/10 Cross border co-operation on implementing EU measures to eliminate the import of illegally harvested timber. A ban on the sale of public lands that contributes to deforestation or the full value of a sale to be reinvested in afforestation only. Maintain satisfactory resourcing of Inventory and Research branches of Forest Service, in order to meet international obligations Recognise the significance of Tree Cover and its expansion in the NSDS Stabilise funding and rationalise grant schemes through interdepartmental and international co-operation on RDP and Emissions Trading / Carbon tax A proportion of the carbon tax be applied to Bog Conservation, where restrictions on traditional harvest need to be offset with incentives for wood fuel production. In Afforestation, develop semi-natural woodland as the key option, composed mainly but not exclusively of native species by mimicking the type of wood that could potentially occur on the site, such as the Bord na Mona cutaway potential of c. 25k ha Smart re-afforestation with 15% biodiversity plus 10% broadleaf per conifer site. Plan conservation and enhancement of biological diversity at a townland scale Keep Ireland GMO tree free. Develop comprehensive operative and technician level training in modular format All identified old/ancient woodland sites should be reinstated after first rotation Agree clearly defined limits on areas for clearfell. Link these limits and the promotion of Continuous Cover Silviculture in conifer stands to improved Carbon Accounting.Redesign Plantation Forests to avoid clearfelling. Restructure the administration of Public Tree Cover while maintaining public ownership of Coillte’s Forest Assets – Consider a multi stakeholder leasing model. Pool interdepartmental and social partner resources into a Tree Cover Agency on an All Island basis to co-ordinate resilience to the impact of future events. Participation of the Environmental Pillar in the final reviewing of updated Legislation, Policy and Coillte Teoranta through Social Partnership Organise an All Island Tree Cover Conference soon, to discuss the issues The island of Ireland should be aiming towards at least 30% tree cover by mid century (still below European average) employed strategically, primarily to reduce the impact of Climate Change, where carbon sequestration benefits are a secondary by product. Maintaining or enhancing biological diversity should be a primary objective.