Ireland Pledges 5 Million Native Trees to EU Initiative

Mar 23, 2024 | Climate Change, Green Architecture

The 3 Billion Trees Pledge is a Europe-wide initiative to plant 3 billion additional trees by 2030. As well as the obvious benefits for the climate, the initiative will help to improve forest health, strengthen rural areas, and contribute to urban greening.

To be counted in the pledge, the tree must have already been planted or sprouted after May 20th 2020. The tree must be an additional tree that would not have been planted or grown anyway, and finally, be a native species tree that benefits biodiversity and the climate.

During a recent visit to Brussels, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, pledged that Ireland will support the initiative. This initial pledge for Ireland is based on the number of native trees planted under the Department’s afforestation schemes since the 20th May 2020.

Minister Hackett said “I am delighted to be able to say …… that 5 million native trees have been planted under my Department’s Afforestation schemes since May 2020. The EU’s 3 Billion trees pledge is an important tool for countries to help support climate, sustainability and biodiversity goals across the EU. Between now and 2030, under our ambitious new Forestry Programme and through Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan, and indeed under their successor programmes, I am confident we will contribute millions more native trees towards the 3 billion goal.

A wide range of schemes are available in Ireland’s new Forestry Programme 2023-2027 to support the establishment and management of tree-planting by private landowners and public bodies. The annual broadleaf target for this programme has increased from 30% to 50% of total annual planting. This is reflected in a substantial increase of 66% in premium rates for the establishment of native forest, with €1,103 per hectare available to plant native forests and €1,142 per hectare for native forest with water over a period of 15 or 20 years.

Further details about the 3 Billion Trees Initiative can be found here.

More information on the Forestry Programme 2023-2027 can be found here.

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