The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has announced that 42 projects will receive a total of €1.6 million in funding for forestry promotion initiatives. The funding boost comes after an open call for proposals in September, with the aim of raising the profile of forestry as a public good and a commercially viable enterprise. Minister of State, Pippa Hackett, who is responsible for Land Use and Biodiversity, stated that over 53 applications were submitted, and 42 projects have been selected for funding over the next year. The successful applications were prioritized based on their focus on engaging with farmers, existing forest owners, and other landowners.
Minister Hackett expressed her delight at the range of inspiring projects aimed at promoting the new Forestry Programme, as well as the geographic spread of the projects throughout the country. She hopes that the €1.6 million funding will raise the profile of forestry and encourage farmers to explore the planting options available in the new Forestry Programme. The Minister also noted that many of the projects involve collaboration between organizations and cover various topics, including afforestation, sustainable forest management, ecosystem services, Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF), and the promotion of careers in forestry.
The funded projects will cover a range of themes, such as promoting the benefits of increased use of timber products in construction and design, as well as highlighting the multifunctional benefits of trees and forests. Some of the projects include the Agroforestry Innovation, Education and Promotion Phase 2 by the Irish Agroforestry Forum, Woodland Creation Open Days by the Western Forestry Co-operative Society Limited, and FT10: CCF Forest Establishment Design Workshops and webinar by Pro Silva Ireland. The full list of successful projects and their respective budgets can be found on the DAFM website.
This funding announcement is a significant step towards promoting forestry in Ireland and encouraging sustainable land use practices. It is hoped that these projects will raise awareness about the benefits of forestry, engage farmers and landowners, and contribute to the growth of the sector. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is committed to supporting the development of forestry in Ireland and ensuring its long-term sustainability.
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