Pro Silva Ireland

Resilient Forestry at Leinster House

December 12, 2019


Continuous Cover Forestry consultant Paddy Purser and Chair of Pro Silva Ireland, Liam Byrne before presenting a statement to Joint Committee on Climate Action at the Oireachtas (Houses of the Irish Parliament), Dublin on behalf of Pro Silva Ireland. 11 December 2019. Photo: Cathy Fitzgerald.

Pro Silva Ireland presented continuous cover forestry as a crucial response to the urgent threat of climate change at
Leinster House yesterday.

Immediate past Chair Paddy Purser and Chair Liam Byrne explained the benefits of close to nature forestry management to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action – Forestry, in Dublin yesterday at the Oireachtas (Houses of the Irish Parliament).

Pro Silva Ireland committee members Padraig O’Tuama, Manus Crowley and Cathy Fitzgerald also represented the Pro Silva membership as observers to the proceedings.

The Oireachtas hearings come amidst increasing national and international reorientation toward resilient and profitable forests for critical carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services in a time of accelerating climate crisis.

Paddy and Liam presented a comprehensive statement on behalf of Pro Silva Ireland, highlighting the necessity of fostering profitable, biodiverse forests to meet increasing climate and biodiversity challenges, as witnessed across Europe this year, whilst ensuring rural employment, improved social amenity and valuable diverse timber production.

Statement to Oireachtas from Paddy Purser, Pro Silva Ireland
Statement to Oireachtas from Paddy Purser, Pro Silva Ireland

View the proceedings here:

Paddy can be seen presenting this statement at about 48 minutes into the Oireachtas TV video above. The full statement can also be downloaded here (PDF).

Paddy and Liam also gave responses during the three-hour cross-party session and Pro Silva Ireland was pleased to represent members and the concept of CCF management at the table alongside other significant Irish forestry stakeholders and researchers.

Pro Silva Ireland members might be interested in viewing the entire session to gauge the information that government representatives and senators are collating for the Irish forest sector. All who attended the session on behalf of Pro Silva Ireland commented that there were ideas, objectives and stakeholder partnerships evolving that align with Pro Silva Ireland’s aims, creating more opportunities for Pro Silva to contribute our organisation’s expertise in continuous cover forestry.

In particular, the Pro Silva Ireland committee believes the wealth of experience and enthusiasm among our members, built-up since 2000, represents a significant body of on-the-ground practical, Irish-based research to champion a new and deeply sustainable direction for Irish forestry. This new Irish forestry integrates environmental, social and economic values. We also continue to recognise the key contribution of our Pro Silva colleagues who advise and visit Ireland from all across Europe. The reason why Pro Silva Ireland was invited to the table to contribute to this national discourse is due in large part to every Pro Silva member. Thank you all.

Please feel free to share these important developments within your network and community. We especially thank newcomers to Pro Silva Ireland too, who are also bringing new energy and experience to our rapidly growing membership.

For more information contact: Paddy Purser at

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