Coillte, the semi-state forestry company, which manages 440,000 hectares of Ireland’s state-owned woodlands (7% of the country’s land area), has announced that it has launched a major new strategy to optimize the benefits from forestry in Ireland.
Coillte plans to greatly expand carbon capture, forestry planting, biodiversity, and recreational facilities between now and 2050. The company aims to capture 28 million tons of CO2 by 2050 by planting 100,000 hectares of new forest and optimizing carbon management of existing trees, rewetting areas of peatland, and generating additional wind energy to power half a million homes.
With its new strategy, the company aims to further enhance its sustainability, while continuing to develop the forestry and wood product sector and providing for enhanced biodiversity and recreational activities.
The company says it will ramp up sustainable production of wood for the building industry, promoting wood product use and timber homes, increasing the area of its forestry being managed primarily for nature from 20% to 50%, and doubling the number of recreation areas for the public to 500.
The company says the new strategy will enable the creation of 1,200 direct and indirect jobs over the next five to ten years.
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Coillte plans to plant 100,000 hectares of new forest in Ireland