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Wallace Launches COFORD Report On Ireland's Forest Genetic Resources

Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry, today officially launched the COFORD report on "Sustaining and Developing Ireland's forest genetic resources - an outline strategy" in the Botanic Gardens, Dublin.

Welcoming the Report, Minister of State Wallace pointed out "Forest genetic resources are fundamental to everything in commercial forestry in Ireland and in conserving our native trees and forests. Good quality genetic material is vital for the grower and landowner. It provides the right start for farmers and others getting involved in forestry and will bring rewards in higher yields and better quality timber". She added that COFORD, UCD and her Department in co-operation with Coillte and Teagasc are working hard with the forest nursery sector to ensure that growers have top quality plants, based on the right genetic material to get forests off to the right start.

The Minister of State outlined that there are a number of strands involved in providing high quality plants for new forests and in conserving native trees. Noting that many of these issues are interrelated and benefit from having an overall approach, with shared aims and objectives, she congratulated the authors for "collaborating and putting together an excellent report, one that for the first time addresses forest genetic resources in an integrated fashion" adding that "the Report contains well considered, practical recommendations that provide a basis for where the sector should go over the period to 2013".

9 October, 2007

Date Released: 03 October 2007