The “Save Ireland’s Forests” campaign is organising a march on Sunday the 28th of April to demonstrate its opposition to the government’s plan to sell off the country’s forests.
The human race is destroying its own forests. This is happening because of pollution, waste (glass, cardboard, plastic, pesticides etc.) and deforestation, which is causing large-scale destruction of forests as a result of human activity.
This is a worrying situation, especially when we bear in mind that forests have already disappeared in many parts of the world.
Approximately 17 million hectares of tropical forest are destroyed every year, or the equivalent of an area larger than that of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.
In fact, countries like Ireland and Scotland were once almost entirely covered in forests, but those forests gradually disappeared during the age of British imperialism due to felling.
This is an issue which has resurfaced recently in Ireland due to the Irish government’s plan to sell off the ownership of the country’s forests. The organisers of the “Save Ireland’s Forests” campaign believe “This would bring to an end a century of public forestry in Ireland, and make the country the first in Europe to renounce its national ancestral forests.”
This is the reason why they have organised the march “A walk in the woods” on the 28th of April, to show their support for the nation’s forests remaining public property.
On the day families will come together to show their solidarity against the plans that the government has put forward. They believe that these plans could have disastrous consequences for the economy, the environment and for society, and even that they could lead to “the public being denied access to forests”.
Supporters of the campaign have stressed that the government has not undergone any form of consultation process with those involved, including rural communities, nature lovers, athletes, leisure groups, youth groups, environmentalists and the thousands who are employed by Coillte – the sector that deals with products of the forests and tourism.
The proposal, in turn, will destroy the character and quality of the forests and jeopardise “the maintenance of almost 23,000 kilometres of forest trails”, but it will also have a huge impact on the tourism industry, as “visits to Irish forests generate €270 million every year”.
The march will take place on the 28th of April, and those who wish to take part should meet in the Avandale car park at 1pm.
For more information visit the website.
(Translated by Roz Harvey)