Sale Of Forestry Harvesting Rights Abandoned ... or are they?
A government statement ...
"…at its meeting today, the Government decided that now is not the appropriate time to proceed with the sale of harvesting rights in Coillte and that the current focus must be on the restructuring of Coillte,
overseen by NewERA and
the relevant stakeholder Departments."
I'll provide a link to the whole thing at the end of this.
On the upside this is also
an 18 months opportunity
to build our forest passion,
and renew a ancient forest culture for the present.
We need to keep walking, using and enjoying our forests regularly.
Short version of what the Irish Government has proposed
Simon Coveney, Agriculture Minister in Ireland, said the Government will now focus on creating a new company - merging Coillte and Bord na Mona to develop thr country's commercial bio-energy and forestry interests.
Simon Coveney also said the decision to stall the sale of harvesting of the trees was based on concerns for loss of at least 12,000 jobs, public access and eventual financial losses too such as making 400-774 million euro from a quick sale leading to 1.3 billion euro loss over time.
However, he also said a future sale has not been ruled out with the Government reconsidering all options again in 18 months' time, once the restructuring and merger with Bord na Mona with Coillte is completed.
As a reminder, Coillte was one of several companies that are owned or part owned by the Ireland State, along with Aer Lingus and Bord Gais Energy and the ESB, that was being considered for sell off to fulfill terms of the EU-IMF Troika bailout to fund the losses of speculative debts created by banks and investment managers.
What can we do?
I can only echo what I say in blog posts and other posts time and time again. We need more people be in our woods more often to discover what they enjoy and feel is precious in the forests. This builds up forest passion and eventually forest culture.
From this people will naturally team together to form local community co-operative forests for their construction, fuel, medicine and food supplies as well as for local leisure, art expression and local tourism amenities
Hopefully, within 18 months there will also be a general election which is a time when TDs listen to us the most as this is when people have power over their careers.
I had a Japanese man visit a few days ago and he explained how vast amount of Japanese forests are now gone or cannot be entered into due to the nuclear fall out from the power plants after the earthquakes.
For the Japanese to lose their forest access for their Forest Bathing, Shinrin Yoku, is similar to Ireland losing its GAA. I believe the forest culture of Ireland should be as strong as GAA. Think about it, there would be no GAA without supplies from the forest :-)
So we have 18 months to build up our forest passion in Erin.
Enjoy the journey as this is for our own good and well being
before any government considerations and politics are even made.
click here for the full Irish Government report
click here to read a previous blog post
where I went into this issue in more detail
click here for an excellent viewpoint
that includes a bit more information too