Coillte has announced a new not-for-profit entity, Coillte Nature, which will focus on the environment and recreational forests.
Coillte Nature is to target the delivery of new woodlands facilitating species diversity, biodiversity and carbon sequestration as part of the Government’s National Forestry Programme. It will also see the conversion of certain commercial Coillte forests to recreational forests.
With the establishment of Coillte Nature, the company is seeking to advance its sustainability agenda by undertaking large discrete projects with a separate non-commercial focus.
These projects are aimed at increasing the national forest estate but with a strong emphasis on carbon sequestration, species diversification, biodiversity and the development of outdoor recreation and tourism amenities.
Coillte Nature will collaborate with other organisations through joint ventures, etc, in implementing forestry and recreation projects.
A director of Coillte Nature will be appointed shortly.
Continuous cover forestry
Conversion from commercial forests to recreational forests will involve a mixture of continuous cover forestry (CCF) and removal of commercial species and replacement with non-commercial native tree species. The project is being jointly funded by Coillte and the three Dublin local authorities with grants for native woodland conversion being provided by the Department of Agriculture.
Commenting on the establishment of Coillte Nature, Coillte chair Bernie Gray said: “Coillte’s focus is to drive a strong commercial performance and at the same time provide a valuable environmental and social dividend to society at large.
“Our decision to establish Coillte Nature fits perfectly in this regard. This is a very significant and timely initiative which is naturally aligned with the Government’s focus on climate action. Coillte is ideally positioned to lead the creation of new woodlands for carbon sequestration and to develop recreational forestry for the enjoyment and wellbeing of the public.
This is a very significant and timely initiative
“Coillte Nature, which has been set up on a not-for-profit basis, will have a strong focus on carbon sequestration, species diversification, biodiversity and the development of forestry recreation activities,” Gray said.
Minister of State for Forestry Andrew Doyle said: “I very much welcome this new initiative by Coillte for the establishment of Coillte Nature. The launch of the Government’s Climate Action Plan this week has set us ambitious targets for new afforestation in the coming years and Coillte will have a key role to play in the delivery of this.
“Equally important is the contribution which our forests can make to other environmental priorities especially biodiversity and water quality and I look forward to seeing the results which Coillte Nature will deliver on its initiatives”.
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