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Wallace welcomes progress on Guidelines for Forestry in Pearl Mussel Habitats

Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for Forestry, today welcomed the progress being made in drawing up guidelines for forestry in areas where the pearl mussel is protected. A dedicated group, made up of experts from the Forest Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, along with representatives of the forest sector, has been examining the issue for some time and has agreed guidelines which it will publish very shortly for public consultation.

Minister Wallace emphasised that forestry in Ireland was carried out in accordance with the highest environmental standards and in complete accordance with the internationally agreed principles of Sustainable Forest Management. "Ireland has the highest proportion of certified forestry in Europe", she said, referring to the sustainable forestry certification awarded by the international NGO Forest Stewardship Council. "This provides independent assurance that when we practise forestry in this country, we do it properly."

The Minister said she was happy that a way forward was being charted now which would provide a sound basis for realising the significant benefits of forestry for everyone, without endangering the pearl mussel. "Properly planned and managed forestry is one of the most environmentally friendly uses to which land can be put", the Minister said.

3 October, 2006

Date Released: 03 October 2006