Upcoming Events

National | Environment

no events match your query!

New Events

National

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Tom Parlon launches new career in comedy

offsite link Presumption of innocence does not universally apply in Ireland Anthony

offsite link The poor standard of Irish political journalism Anthony

offsite link RTE bias: A failure of objective journalism Anthony

offsite link Alison O’Connor and professional deceit Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Iran at the center of the Eurasian riddle Mon Jun 17, 2019 23:00 | amarynth
By Pepe Escobar ? posted with permission With the dogs of war on full alert, something extraordinary happened at the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) late last

offsite link US planning ?tactical assault? on Iran in response to ?tanker attack? ? report Mon Jun 17, 2019 22:15 | The Saker
RT reports:   UN sources believe that the United States is planning to carry out a ?tactical assault on Iran? in response to the attack on two oil tankers in

offsite link Turkish Artillery Struck Syrian Army Positions Near Idlib Mon Jun 17, 2019 19:05 | Scott
Syrian War Report ? June 17, 2019: Turkish Artillery Struck Syrian Army Positions Near Idlib   On June 16, Turkey said on that its forces had struck positions of the

offsite link Ukraine will be coerced into making peace in Donbass Mon Jun 17, 2019 16:35 | The Saker
By Petr Akopov Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard Source: https://vz.ru/world/2019/6/... Ukraine is important for the US only in the context of their relationship with Russia, and blocks the

offsite link The Vineyard BookShelf ? ?bookshelf_survey? Search tool now available Mon Jun 17, 2019 16:17 | admin-herb
by Herb Swanson (webmaster) Vineyard BookShelf Project In February, I proposed to Saker the creation of a ‘Vineyard Bookshelf’. Many great books are noted and linked in the comments. However

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights

offsite link Declaration of Human Rights at Sea Mon Apr 08, 2019 07:31 | Human Rights

offsite link NZ Watchdog On Limits Of Free Speech Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:44 | Human Rights

offsite link US Abortion Restrictions Violating The Human Rights Of Women Thu Mar 14, 2019 15:33 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Watch Urges the Human Rights Council to Renew and Strengthen Mandate of UN Commission Tue Mar 12, 2019 21:51 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Govt Plans to Sell Off Our Forests for 3 days Worth of Expenditure. Public Will Loose Access for 90 Years

category national | environment | news report author Wednesday March 20, 2013 21:15author by T Report this post to the editors

Govt claims forest worth more 50% than they are to justify sell off. Bertie Ahern is facilitating this.

The government is planning to sell off our national forests which are currently owned by Coillte. The plan would be to sell harvesting rights on 500,000 acres out of 1.2 million that they manage. They claim it is worth €700 million although in the Peter Bacon report on Forestry, he puts the true value at €360 million or the equivalent of 3 days of government expenditure. Bacon said: "economic rationale for the proposed sale of harvesting rights no longer stands up and cannot be justified." and that he further concluded it would actually cost the state €1,300 million to sell the harvesting rights of Coillte due to various liabilities. The report says that the forests should be developed further as a public resource.
forest_selloff_woodlandleague.jpg

But it does not stop just there because part of the plan to sell the harvesting rights would see the land lease to private companies for 90 years and there would be no obligation to continue public access and given experience it other countries the public would lose access to these lands for recreation. This would affect tourism, hikers, mountain-bikers, joggers, families out on weekend walks and many other forms of recreation. Leasing the land for 90 years is a good as selling it for good!

There are a number of private institutions interested in grabbing our national forests amongst them Chinese firms who in all likelihood would bring in their own people and trunks and ship the unprocessed wood back to China directly, thereby threatening many existing timber related jobs and local saw-mills in Ireland. Last year trade agreements were signed when the Chinese visited Ireland and we still do not know what promises were made since they are secret.

One of the companies also interested is a Swiss private pension firm Helvetia Wealth and none other than ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was appointed it's chairman no doubt with an eye to contacts and network of people within government, councils, civil service and state bodies that he would have. In fact it is not even possible to know from Coillte if any sales have already been made with Helvetia given that Coillte have already sold 40,000 acres of our public land to the private sector. But Ahern is not just inserted into Helvetia for he is also chairman of the industry body International Forest Fund who are also behind the land grab not just in Ireland but elsewhere. We must recall that this is the same lucky Ahern who told the tribunal that he won €25,000 at the races and lead the economic miracle in Ireland and told the 'naysayers' to go hang themselves. Unfortunately quite a number of people have committed suicide since the miracle economy collapsed.

Of the 40,000 acres already sold a large chunk were sold to facilitate Shell in Mayo for their operations where they will extract the Corrib Gas for free since they will pay no royalties and will be able to write over all costs against tax. Land was also sold to Wind Farm developers in areas that would be considered unsustainable for wind because the sites are not the best locations for wind and they would be underpowered.

People should be aware that much of the forestry targeted for the sell off is on land which was planted at state expense in the 1960s by the then Forestry Service. No doubt there was many a statement then about how these were for our future. Instead because of the insistence of bailing out bankers, developers, speculators & gamblers and bond holders this wealth is stolen from us all through sleight of hand.

The Woodland League has been campaigning for the past few years against the sell-off of our forests and it is time that the pressure is stepped up and more people take notice and get involved. In Sweden where parts of their forests were privatised a few years ago, they have now reversed the process and are taking them back into public ownership.

In the UK, similar moves are afoot. It is possible we can win this fight as this is a very broad issue affecting a very broad range of groups and people and affects all counties.

We also need to put a stop to the drip drip selling off of forestry that is happening. The reason appears to be is because Coillte who were given 1.2 million acres and had profits of €400 million have managed to screw up and appear to be in great financial difficulty particularly with their pension fund and they seem to have only kept going because they are selling off the nation's silverware.

The Bacon report was commissioned by the Forestry workers union, IMPACT and is available here or the copy attached to this article. Assessment of the Consequences of the Proposed Sale of Coillte’s Timber Harvesting Rights

Connemara Community Radio carried the interview (attached here) of Andrew St. Ledger of the Woodland League on Jan 31st 2013 days after the publication of the report. Much of the above report is based on this interview.

The Woodland League ( http://woodlandleague.org/ ) who are opposed to the sell-off of Coillte harvesting rights and land are promoting an alternative strategy which consists of the 3 R's of forestry. These stand for

1) Regeneration of native forests
2) Restoration of forest culture
3) Reform of Forest policy in Ireland.

They are running a petition to save Ireland's forests and have 37k signatures so far.

p8210861.jpg



audio Interview of Andrew St. Ledger of Wood Land League on Connemara Community Radio 14.22 Mb PDF Document bacon_forestry_final_report_on_sale_of_coillte_harvestingrights.pdf 0.75 Mb
author by Pooka McFee - Nameless Faery Hordepublication date Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Start using your local woodlands. Don't ask permisssion. Get creative. Respect the land but remember you have a right to access it and use it. Gather firewood and building wood. Make shelters. Teach your kids how to make shelters. Learn how to use fire responsibly. Teach your kids and other peoples' kids the same. Pick up litter and improve the place. Create natural sculptures and artwork. Build community around areas of woodland. Learn what a healthy ecosystem looks and feels like. Explore possibilities for returning Sitka spruce monoculture back to mixed deciduous. Plant trees. Learn about local fauna and flora. Build relationships with local fauna and flora. Build relationships with other woodland users. Observe the action of water in the landscape. Engage assertively with Coillte and local authorities over your right to access and use the woods. We are the land. The land is us. Spread the word.
In order for the land to be subjected to laws of the market the relationship of the people with the land had to be broken. It is high time we regrew this bond. Our future depends on it.

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When humankind is alienated from the landbase, tyranny is the norm and ecocide the final destination.
Coillte's monocrop, commercial plantations are part of the problem. People need to assert their right of way. Check out the Enclosures Act.

author by Pooka McFee - Nameless Faery Hordepublication date Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seek out the most ecologically healthy areas in your locality. These are often to be found in inaccessible out of the way places too awkward for modern farmin or industry. Steep sided valleys are often lovely places. If you haven't been utterly desensitised by modern civilization you will recognise them by the way they make you feel. Calm, energised, optimistic. Use these places as a baseline guide to tell you what your bioregion would look like if it hadn't been ravaged by human civilization. Consider how to extend this health out into the landscape.

author by fredpublication date Thu Mar 21, 2013 15:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is the same Bertie Ahern that also HALVED the tax rate on profits from the extraction of our oil and gas by companies such as shell. from 50% to 25%.

As if the state disgraced corrupt politician, Ray Burke, left them in was not eviscerated enough!

It's a wonder he wasn't in on this too.

I guess the bloated 100,000+ per annum pension the state pays out (why???) was enough for him, unlike Bertie who wants more.

Traitors both!

And it just shows you that FG will happily co-operate with the likes of Ex FF Ahern when it involves privatisation of our national assets for private gain, which is their mantra.

[ Oh to be a fly on the wall (with a tape recorder) when such deals are going down. And to record the bit where they talk about what their cut is and how it will be delivered.

Because I can't honestly believe anyone could be so deliberately short sighted and terminally stupid without a generous payoff ]

Save our forests from these greedy cynical traitorous vultures.

author by Ailispublication date Tue Apr 02, 2013 17:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Was it Coilte who gave away our forests to Shell/Statoil etc;for the Corrib gas project?
This resulted in the savage destruction of hundreds of acres of forestry,bogland,beaches and finally the plundering of our gas/oil.
Some of these were in protected areas,SACS.
When will we ever learn?

 
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy