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Connick opens "Healthy People, Healthy Forests" Exhibition in Callan

Sean Connick TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry, today opened Coillte's "Healthy People, Healthy Forests" exhibition at Bun Scoil MacAuley Rice, Callan, Co Kilkenny.  The Exhibition is being hosted by Coillte in Callan as part of the town's week long Abhainn Rí Festival.

The exhibition showcases the best of the environmental and recreational amenity provided by Coillte Forests, and highlights 2010 as the 'International Year of Biodiversity'.  It brings together information on a number of Coillte's significant projects and activities, in managing the environment. It features forest recreation, habitat restoration, nature conservation and nursery trees.

Minister of State Connick thanked Coillte for organising such an informative and interesting exhibition and Bun Scoil MacAuley Rice for hosting it.  Minister of State Connick commented that the Exhibition provides an invaluable opportunity for people to learn about, and appreciate, the recreational and environmental benefits of forestry and hosting it in locations around the country made it accessible to everyone.  He commended Coillte for their initiative in developing the exhibition. 

Highlighting the renewable energy theme of the Abhainn Rí Festival, the Minister of State added that, "Renewability and sustainability are key traits of forestry.  Wood energy has a two-fold impact - as a home grown, renewable, sustainable, carbon neutral form of energy and, crucially, as a replacement for imported fossil fuels".

He also highlighted the contribution forestry makes by way of employment, tourism, enhancement of biodiversity and the provision of recreational facilities in addition to its traditional role as the source of timber and wood energy.

The Minister of State thanked all those who attended and concluded by encouraging as many people as possible to visit and experience this exceptional exhibition.

Date Released: 31 July 2010