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Minister of State Wallace launches Forestry Promotion Campaign

Speaking at the launch of a major forestry promotion campaign in Kells, Co. Meath this week, Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for Forestry, reiterated that "The current package of incentives available for afforestation is very attractive and I want to ensure that the information is as widely available as possible so that farmers and landowners can make the best possible decision in relation to land use. I also want to ensure that the public at large appreciate the wide range of benefits we get can from forestry, particularly wood energy, and the importance of investing in it now and sustaining it, for the benefit of future generations."

The Forestry Promotion campaign was launched by the Minister of State on John McCartan's farm, Baltrasna, Kells, Co. Meath on Thursday, 29th June. The campaign is a joint campaign between the Irish Forest Industry Chain (IFIC) and the Department of Agriculture and Food arising from a call for proposals issued by the Forest Service of the Department in 2005. Pembroke Communications was selected to conduct the campaign over the next eighteen months and will avail of as many means and opportunities as possible to highlight the importance and benefits of forestry. Minister of State Wallace warmly welcomed the co-operation with the forestry sector, which will facilitate joint identification of the priority areas for intervention to ensure that the campaign is as focussed and as effective as possible.

Minister of State Wallace said that the purpose of the forestry promotional campaign is to "encourage the better management of existing forests, promote new planting and increase awareness of the benefits of forestry, including the environmental and recreational benefits". Referring to the campaign's slogan 'Forests For a Bright Future, she commented that our current forestry is the result of the work and efforts of our predecessors and that it is important that we look to the future as trees planted now will not only sustain our timber industry and the associated enterprises in years to come but will also contribute to our environment and society.

2 July, 2006

Date Released: 02 July 2006