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Wallace highlights positive role of forestry in climate change

Welcoming the forthcoming conference on forestry and climate change organised by the National Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD), Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry, highlighted that "in the ongoing debate on climate change, it is important for society in general to understand and appreciate the role of forestry in mitigating rising levels of greenhouses gases. This role is a central element of the National Climate Change Strategy and features in the Programme for Government."

Minister of State Wallace commented "In Ireland increasing emphasis and value is now being placed on the full spectrum of services that forests provide - including both recreation facilities and space, conserving native biodiversity and mitigating climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through forest growth. In this regard I was pleased to recently receive the agreement of the EU Commission for the national aid package, worth more than €900m over the period 2007 - 2013, for the new Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme. We need to continue the planting of new forests to continue the provision of these services into the future."

COFORD, the National Council for Forest Research and Development, is holding a one day conference in Glenview Hotel, Co. Wicklow on 19 September 2007 on the theme 'Forests, Carbon and Climate Change - Local and International Perspectives' in order to better understand the current role of forests in climate change policy, and how this might develop in the future.

Minister of State Wallace added "Forests will play a key role in attaining compliance with emission reduction targets directly through carbon sequestration and the avoidance of deforestation and indirectly through providing renewable wood fuels and materials. I commend COFORD on their organisation of this timely conference to examine this particular aspect of forestry as it is useful to learn from both the experience of other countries and the research to date."

17 September, 2007

Date Released: 17 September 2007