The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, has today announced a public call for innovative projects which support and highlight the environmental, social and economic benefits of forestry, forests and timber products.

Funding will be allocated by the Department by means of an open competition under the Forestry Promotion Projects Support Fund.

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Announcing the Call, Minister of State Hackett said:

Our Forestry Programme 2023-2027 is now open to applications and to compliment this we are looking for projects and proposals which will help encourage farmers and other landowners to plant trees under the new Programme, as well as to raise the profile of forestry as a public good and a commercially viable enterprise.

The Minister continued:

Previous successful applications under this fund have included a series of forestry webinars, field workshops on Continuous Cover Forestry, promoting the use of home grown timber for construction, the sourcing and planting of native trees, woodland open days, ecological restoration, agroforestry and many others besides.

Now is an opportune time to promote a greater understanding of the multi-functional benefits of our forests.

 

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The four themes identified, on which applications are invited from any group or individual, are as follows:

  1. Promote schemes under the new Forestry Programme, with a particular focus on engaging with farmers, existing forest owners and other landowners.
  2. Promote productive forestry and the benefits of increased use of timber products in construction and design, in the context of climate action and the bioeconomy.
  3. Promote sustainable forest management among forest owners and a range of silvicultural systems (targeted at professionals and organisations already active in this area with established programmes in operation).
  4. Promote the multi-functional benefits of trees and forests, including for eco-system services, bioenergy, communities, children, and general wellness.

This competitive process is open to all, and I look forward to receiving applications from as wide a range of stakeholders as possible, to cover each of our themes.

Government Announces Open Call for Proposals for Forestry Promotion Projects for 2023-2024 1
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However, there will be a particular emphasis in this Call on projects submitted under Theme 1, which promotes schemes under the new Forestry Programme, with a particular focus on engaging with farmers, existing forest owners and other landowners.

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The Minister continued:

There is widespread support for promoting greater awareness and education about the many functions, benefits, and culture of forests.  A need has been identified to re-establish a more rooted understanding of the value of forests, collective support for forest expansion and a nationwide awareness of the potential of wood products.

Encouraging farmers and landowners to seriously consider planting all types of forests is one important aspect of this initiative, while the promotion of the benefits of trees and forests for eco-system services, bioenergy, communities and general wellness is another.

I am really looking forward to seeing innovative projects, across all themes, which will provide inspiration and motivation for action as to how society can gain from sustainable forest creation and management.

yhe Specification Document and application form are available to view on gov.ie – Open Call for Proposals for Forestry Promotion Projects for 2023/2024 (www.gov.ie)

·        Applications may be emailed to  ForestrySupportFunding@agriculture.gov.ie

·         The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 16 October 2023.

 

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