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Connick launches RDS-Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards 2010

Mr. Sean Connick, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry, today officially launched the RDS-Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards for 2010 at Donadea Forest Park in Co. Kildare.

The Awards competition, organised each year by the RDS with funding from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, is to promote standards of excellence in the management of forests.

The RDS-Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards 2010 competition comprises of two categories - Farm Forestry and Bio-Diverse Forestry/Woodlands.  Minister of State Connick encouraged plantation owners to enter their plantations in the appropriate category as "These awards represent a means by which good forestry management can be acknowledged and rewarded." and added "it is appropriate that forest owners, who are employing the principles of sustainable forest management on their properties as well as sound commercial management, environmental protection, social amenity and bio-diversity, receive credit and recognition".

Speaking on forestry generally, the Minister of State highlighted that, "The forest industry overall, comprising growing, harvesting and processing of forest products, makes a significant and growing contribution to the Irish economy.  The productive capacity of Irish forests and the mobilisation of our timber resource are crucial issues in the wood supply chain.  It is also vital that planting levels are maintained and, if possible, increased in order to provide a supply of timber into the future for both the processing and renewable energy sectors as well as the various non-timber benefits."

The 2010 Awards competition, which encompasses the island of Ireland, is now open for entries. It is intended that the presentation ceremony for this year's awards will take place in October. Further details on the RDS-Forest Service Irish Forestry Awards may be obtained from the RDS.

Date Released: 06 July 2010