Irish EIP Project Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance Wins Prestigious EU Award

May 8, 2024 | EIP-AGRI

The Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance, based in County Clare has claimed the esteemed award in the Sustainable Forest Management category at the EIP-AGRI Innovation Awards, held in Estoril, Portugal on Tuesday, May 7th. The project was one of three Irish nominees for this year’s awards, which were organised by the EU CAP Network.

Ray Ó Foghiú was Project Lead for the Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance and he spoke about his hope for the future of the forestry sector in Ireland: “Getting acknowledgment here in Lisbon is amazing. It’s also humbling given the quality of other entrants. I just hope the state can take what we learned and what many foresters know, and resource the point of contact with farmers.”

He also acknowledged the various challenges the sector faces: “Forestry has major challenges, but for the most part they are not financial, they are cultural challenges, information challenges, and reputation challenges. These are the areas we sought to innovate in. The fact that all farmers who participated engaged with licenced woodland creation shows that with the right support we can move through the current impasse.”

Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance stands out for its pioneering efforts in transforming farm forestry practices in Ireland. Their innovative approach prioritises habitat restoration, biodiversity enhancement, and community engagement, while advocating for sustainable forestry management.

Through collaborative partnerships with farmers, the Alliance has implemented a range of measures including fencing, strategic planting, and understory enhancement. These efforts have yielded significant results, including the securing of afforestation licenses, the planting of thousands of trees, and the successful navigation of initial scepticism from landowners.

CAP Network Ireland’s James Claffey expressed his enthusiasm for the project’s success: “Congratulations to Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance on their great success! We extend our gratitude to everyone who supported our operational groups during the EIP-AGRI Innovation Awards.”

This achievement highlights the importance of collaboration and innovation in addressing agricultural challenges. It underscores Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance’s commitment to sustainability and serves as a testament to the power of collective action in driving positive change.

For more information on the Illaun Farm-Forest Alliance and their impactful work, please refer to the attached video or visit here.

Image Source: EU CAP Network


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