Minister of State Shane McEntee Announces Ireland's Closer Involvement in Tackling Forest Loss in Developing Countries
Ireland, as a demonstration of its commitment to sustainable forest management and to addressing the global forest loss and the impacts of climate change, has made a funding contribution of €150,000 to the European Forest Institute EU REDD, which supports better forestry management in developing countries.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is seeking to address deforestation and related issues through the REDD+ process. The aim of REDD+ is to provide incentives for developing countries to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and to foster conservation, sustainable forest management, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. It is a process of halting and reversing forest cover loss, and one that Ireland has been very successful at, and continues to remain committed to.
Ireland's restoration of forest cover has been underway for many decades, and is now at a stage where the sector is making a significant contribution to national economic, social and environmental wellbeing. The economic benefit of the forest sector is now over €2.2 billion annually, as a result of economic activity in harvesting, processing and selling wood products.
Minister of State McEntee said: "Ireland's success in restoring forest cover and developing a vibrant and sustainable forest industry is not matched at the global level, where deforestation - the permanent removal of forest cover - is still a major issue, and contributes up to one fifth of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Large scale forest clearance is most acute in tropical and subtropical regions, where forest cover is being removed to make way for other land uses".
In welcoming and announcing Ireland's contribution to the EU REDD Facility, Minster of State McEntee said: "While my primary goal has been to secure the national afforestation programme for 2012, and which has now been successfully achieved, I am also very pleased that we are able, in common with many other EU Member States, to make a contribution to addressing the issue of forest loss in developing countries and the consequences on greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. We already contribute to tackling the issue through our bilateral aid programme and our contribution to the Global Climate Change Alliance. This new involvement in the EU REDD Facility adds to the national contribution. I wish the work of the EU REDD Facility every success and look forward to our closer involvement in the process."