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€800,000 For Forestry Development Projects

Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has announced details of successful projects under her Department's Forestry Development call for proposals. Total funding of approximately €800,000 has been allocated for the 20 projects selected for support.

The projects had been submitted under a call for proposals issued earlier this year by her Department. This is the third year in which proposals had been invited under this procedure, the overall objective of which is to contribute to the sustainable development of forestry by way of support for relevant pilot projects, studies and initiatives from all parts of the forestry sector. Particular attention is given to relatively small scale, short-term projects which do not fit readily into other Department schemes.

In relation to the granting of aid for a number of Forestry Development projects, Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with responsibility for Forestry, commented "I am encouraged by the number and quality of applications submitted under the 2007 Forestry Development Call for Proposals as it is indicative of the commitment to the development of forestry. The range and variety of initiatives submitted clearly demonstrates the imagination and enthusiasm which exists within the forest sector, and the extent to which our forests feed into so many aspects of modern Ireland". Projects approved for funding this year include support for the establishment of a number of woodland owner groups in Counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Wicklow, a project to promote thinning in the South East and a number of projects relating to the supply of wood chip.

Minister of State Wallace added "This process has resulted in a number of very worthwhile projects receiving support in recent years such as the Co. Clare Wood Energy Project, the CRISIS project which is working towards the conservation of the red squirrel and the development of a Thinning Protocol by the Forestry Development Association. I have seen at first hand the outputs from these particular projects and, in particular, the contribution they have made and are continuing to make to the forest sector".

The Minister of State concluded by thanking all those who had taken the time and effort to submit projects for funding, especially those who had not been successful on this occasion and encouraged them to re-apply in any similar Forestry Development Call for Proposals that the Department may issue in the future.

4 December, 2007

Date Released: 04 December 2007