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Wallace highlights the contribution of Forestry to the economy

Speaking today at the launch of two COFORD publications in the Alexander Hotel, Dublin, Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food highlighted the findings that the forestry sector now contributes over €1.6 billion annually to the national economy while the removal of carbon dioxide by forestry will result in potential savings of €30m a year to the Exchequer. Minister of State Wallace was speaking at the launch of two new COFORD publications entitled The socio-economic contribution of forestry in Ireland and Carbon sequestration and Irish forest ecosystems.

The report entitled The socio-economic contribution of forestry in Ireland shows how important the forestry sector has become to the national economy, with the contribution now reaching well over €1.6 billion annually. Minister of State Wallace added "Wealth and jobs are flowing directly from government investment, with benefits to rural communities. The report gives us the basis for this comment in its finding that for every 100 jobs in forestry sector, an extra 90 full time equivalent jobs are provided in other sectors of the economy".

The importance of carbon storage as a valuable spin-off in forestry is highlighted in the report on Carbon sequestration and Irish forest ecosystems.

With the beginning of the Kyoto compliance period now a little over a year away, Minister of State Wallace commented "We have a forest resource that is set to remove about two million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air each year from 2008 onwards - almost half a tonne per person - with potential savings of €30 million a year to the Exchequer".

Both reports are directly based on research funded by COFORD (the National Council for Forestry Research and Development) under the current National Development Programme. The Minister of State added "Matching the funding to the high level of scientific expertise that is available in UCD and UCC in the forestry area has been a key factor in the success of this work".

She concluded by thanking the authors of the reports, the organisations and people involved in the two projects and both the Council and Executive of COFORD.

19 October, 2006

Date Released: 19 October 2006