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Wallace welcomes COFORD/EPA report on Biodiversity in Irish Plantation Forests

Ms. Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with responsibility for Forestry, today welcomed the publication of the joint COFORD/EPA report on Biodiversity in Irish Plantation Forests.

This report summarises the work and recommendations resulting from the BIOFOREST project, one of the largest ever undertakings on biodiversity research conducted in the state. Funded under the National Development Plan 2000-2006, the project involved over twenty researchers based in Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and Coillte.

Commenting on the report Minister of State Wallace stated: "I very much welcome this first comprehensive report on forest biodiversity in Ireland. It contains much needed background information on current levels of plant and animal biodiversity in our plantation forests."

The research has shown that plantation forests can make a positive contribution to biodiversity, using the recommendations set out in the report.

The Minister of State added: "I have no doubt that the report will underpin the ability of current and planned forests to contribute to biodiversity needs."

The Minister thanked COFORD, the EPA and all those involved in the publication of this report and complimented them on the relevance and timeliness of the report as she expressed that view that "it makes a significant contribution to our knowledge of biodiversity in Irish forests and the planted forest in particular".

Minister of State Wallace also took the opportunity of the launch of this report to remind all farmers that this is the time to apply for approval to plant forestry and to consider including forestry in REPS 4 plans due to the huge financial rewards involved.

November 2007

Date Released: 14 November 2007