Q: How Does it All Work?
Our aim is to make it as straightforward as possible for businesses to join the campaign to fund woodland creation.
We are committed to achieving the highest international standards of forestry management and certification of our activity. In order to achieve these standards, all forest cover we plant must be:
- Permanent – we will use a forestry management practice known as Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) – our forests will never be cut down.
- Verifiable – we will work with leading national experts as third-party auditors to verify what we are doing and the impact we are having.
- Additional – none of the activity we are doing would otherwise happen, so it can all be considered additional to what would otherwise be the case.
All planting will be audited by third party foresters and results will be published. Together we want to not only offset emissions but work to reduce future emissions and minimise the offsets required.
Q: Why Forests in Ireland?
Our goal is to restore native woodland in Ireland, and foster biodiversity and natural habitats in these areas.
Ireland has the lowest level of forest cover in Europe – approximately 11% versus a 40% average (source: Teagasc, article.) Ireland also has a large quantity of commercial forests that focus on planting trees as crops – these are usually Sitka spruce, which are planted because they grow quickly and give a better return for investors. These forests are clear felled (cut down) usually 25 years after being planted, destroying the limited natural forest habitat that has been built up.
While commercial forestry is an important national industry supporting thousands of jobs, we're focused on nurturing the environmental and societal benefits associated with permanent native woodlands. By planting native woodland and managing it using an approach called Continuous Cover Forestry, we can maximise the growth in the forest while being committing to never cutting it down. This permanence will not only keep the carbon locked up in the trees that grow, it will also foster ecosystems to grow within the forests by providing permanent, safe habitats.
Ireland has committed to using forestry as a way to tackle climate change, but is so far failing in efforts and things are actually getting worse. We want the business community, who are used to ambitious projects and being results-focused, to help get things moving in the right direction.
Q: What Will the Impact Be?
We want to see significant reforestation of Ireland - we're targeting the reforestation of 1% of the land area of the country - approximately 175,000 acres. This is an enormous undertaking, but will bring with it benefits not just in the form of carbon sequestration, but will create vital, protected, permanent wildlife habitats to help restore and cultivate improved biodiversity. There are many other benefits to creating forests - including reduced flood risk in the area, improved air quality, social benefits from opening forests to the public for walking, cycling, etc. as well as other ecosystem services that come about more opportunistically once the woodlands become established.
Q: Why Us, Why Now?
Ireland is one of the worst performers in Europe, and among the worst globally in making progress towards the commitments we made under the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit the worst effects of climate change. This is simply not acceptable to us. There is no reason Ireland cannot be a leader and inspire other nations to do more in the fight against climate change.
There is a saying that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago and the second best time is today. We are in the midst of a climate emergency and we, as a society, are not doing enough to solve the problem. Everyone should be committed to playing their part. Together, we can make a real difference and make Ireland an example for others to follow. No other industry has tried this, and no other tech community has come together in this way. Let’s lead the way and inspire others to follow our footsteps to make a real difference in the fight to protect our climate. We don’t have time to waste.