International Forest Congress to meet in Ireland

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will host one of three important international workshops on the establishment and management of plantation forests as part of the third International Congress on Planted Forests.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will host one of three important international workshops on the establishment and management of plantation forests as part of the third International Congress on Planted Forests.

The workshop will be attended by forest scientists, policy makers and foresters from across the world and is being hosted in Dublin Castle. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is among the sponsors of the event.

One of the cornerstones of the Department’s annual investment in the forest sector (€116 million budgeted for 2013) is the afforestation programme, which supports a growing forest industry sector. The topic of the Congress is therefore of great interest to the Irish forest sector.

The Dublin workshop will examine the restoration of forest landscapes and the ecosystem services which planted forests provide. As plantation forestry in Ireland and elsewhere becomes increasingly important in providing forest products (so that natural forests can be conserved) it is important that they are managed to maximise the conservation of biodiversity and provision of social and landscape benefits.

For further information please contact the Press Office of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, email info@agriculture.gov.ie, ph: 01 607 2802

Planted forests, although only 7% of the world’s forest resources, have superseded natural indigenous forests as the principal source of wood products. By meeting the demand for wood from planted forests, we may be able to conserve natural forests for the continuing provision of social and environmental benefits, such as conservation and recreation. As a complement not an alternative to natural forests, planted forests managed for wood production have become increasingly important as a means of reducing deforestation across the world and slowing the loss and degradation of forest ecosystems. Planted forests are long term investments that require awareness and diligence in policy, planning and management. Good governance, good application of knowledge and sufficient capacity are required to achieve sustainable forest management. Two earlier conferences on planted forests (Chile in 1999 and New Zealand in 2003) highlighted the multiple dimensions of sustainable forest management. Since these meetings, new research, assessments, guidelines and applications along with international processes and financing mechanisms have increased the role of planted forests in mitigating climate change, conserving biodiversity and combating land degradation.

The workshop and congress will produce an official resolution directed at national and international policy makers. This declaration and the main presentations will be published by FAO and in international scientific journals respectively. The congress is being coordinated by four major international forestry organisations (EFIATLANTIC, FAO, USSE and IUFRO - see footnote), EFIATLANTIC is the Atlantic Regional Office of the European Forest Institute, FAO is the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, USSE is the Unión de Silvicultores del Sur de Europa and IUFRO is the International Union of Forest Research Organisations.