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Non-Statutory Public Consultation Process - Forest Friends Ireland submission

The four Dublin local authorities (DLAs) Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council acknowledge that climate change is an immediate challenge and that they have a responsibility in helping to address national climate change targets.

They have produced a draft strategy document setting out their intention to work together to develop individual yet collaborative climate change action plans, one for each local authority area.

Forest Friends Ireland have submitted their views as part of the public consultation process. This report, written by John Haughton, Hon. President, recommends action on the following topics :

THE AARHUS CONVENTION
ECO VILLAGES
WATER: Taps in public places
NEW BUILD
LIGHTING
SOLAR PANELS
WIND POWER
CYCLING
FOOD PRODUCTION And FOOD SOVEREIGNTY
ALLOTMENTS
DIET
GARDENING COURSES
COOPERATIVES
PROMOTING BIODIVERSITY
BEEKEEPING
ORGANIC GARDENING INNOVATIONS
TRANSPORT
TELECONFERENCING
THE ROLE OF TREES


You can read the full report here

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Newsletter 26 cover

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You can support us via PayPal ...

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SUMMER PLANTING FOR YOUR GARDEN
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FFI Gardening

Forest Friends are now selling a lot of plants, herbs, flowers and more. 
You can find us in front of the 
Art of Business Campus, 40 Lower Drumcondra Road
everyday between 1pm and 2pm. 

Come along and grab yourself a gardening bargain.

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Peace Forest Ireland Project.


The Peace Forest Ireland Project involves the creation of a peace forest stretching all along the border counties north and south Ireland. It involves bringing communities together to better understand the cultural diversity and biodiversity of the various communities.

The project also envisages the creation of a  Centre of Forest Biodiversity, based on best practice in Horticulture  Silva culture and Permaculture; a centre for environmental education, incorporating visitor centre, existing natural woodlands, new tree planting, using 100% native species, commemorative trees, woodcrafts, maximising community involvement; Ogham groves based on the Celtic tree alphabet; tree nursery. The centre envisaged will be held in trust in perpetuity for community benefit.

This Woodland Cross-border Peace Project with Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland will promote forest skills, a culture of trees and forests, capacity building and community development.  The project is not designed to interfere with the structures and practice of farming as existing but to be complementary to them. It is intended to enhance rather than damage local landscapes.

To assist the design of the project and its planning the elements incorporated in the Auroville Peace Centre in Tamil Nadu India will be examined. The 2016  module of the Peace Forest Project involves the planting of 4,000 commemorative peace trees  in memory of all those who lost their lives in the Northern Ireland conflict- This will be done by a process of  liaising with all groups in the border counties in order to involve them in the project.

To assist the process of planning and development of this module of the peace forest, advertising will be placed in the local newspapers in each Border County explaining what are envisaged and inviting ideas, and promoting involvement and support. Partnerships will be encouraged to assist all aspects and stages of the peace forest project, and to assist in the sourcing of suitable sites.

The overall project is ongoing in short, medium and long terms. The potential of the project is very significant in terms of climate change. The Tree Council or Ireland has donated five hundred trees, and the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland is making 2,000 trees available.


FFI Shopping !

Mannon has assembled a great selection of video illustrating Forest Friends Ireland activities and also giving you an opportunity to support our activities by getting some nice stuff ...   

FFI Shopping

... if you already have enough stuff you can always donate through our PayPal channel.



Thank you for supporting Forest Friends Ireland.


Non-Statutory Public Consultation Process - FFI submission

Posted by admin on 10/17/16, 16:01:44

Non-Statutory Public Consultation Process:

A Draft Strategy Towards Climate Change Action Plans for the Dublin Local Authorities

Report prepared by John Haughton Hon. President, Forest Friends Ireland on behalf of Forest Friends Ireland/Cáirde na Coille.

Herewith is Forest Friends Ireland’s submission for this public consultation:  The topics are not dealt with in order of priority:

THE AARHUS CONVENTION: Ireland ratified the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, commonly referred to as the Aarhus Convention, on 20th June 2012. It is essential that the councils set up structures required to implement this convention in their areas of responsibility. This would involve making comprehensive directories of all community associations environmental organisations, charities business and other organisations, and involving then as stakeholders in decision making processes, using principles of empowerment, constructive involvement, and subsidiary function.

ECO VILLAGES: It should be an objective to develop eco village models based on self sufficiency  food sovereignty and carbon neutral energy systems such as those modelled on Tesla’s principles Link http://uk.businessinsider.com/self-sufficient-village-regen-2016-9?utm_content=buffera0ea8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer-ti?r=US&IR=T

WATER: Taps in public places should activate when hands are placed under them. These would be part of the design of new build. Manually operated taps should be phased out with specific timescales of existing buildings.

NEW BUILD:

  1. Carbon neutral buildings should be advocated and where public agencies are involved they should be the norm. Standards of insulation of new build should be raised to their maximum.
  2.  Promote the use of low carbon cements. Links http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2014/06/23/green-cement-to-help-reduce-carbon-emissions/#2aba7bb5b93a  http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2015/08/11/low-carbon-cement-role-sustainable-construction/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/dec/31/cement-carbon-emissions

 

  1. Re-introduce hemp production and integrate use of hemp in the building industry. Hemp is proven to be of great importance for many reasons including the speed of its growth to maturity, its durability, load carrying capacity, insulation values and fire resistance qualities. Link: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisWeed/videos/994430260639439/?pnref=story

LIGHTING: It should be the norm that lights become operational when one is entering a room and extinguish on exiting except where the interests of public safety suggest otherwise.

SOLAR PANELS: All new buildings should have solar panels on the south or west racing side of the buildings. These should be part of the design. Grants should be available for these.

WIND POWER:  Grants should be made available for micro wind energy installations which are proven and meet approved standards. Link: https://www.facebook.com/arbre.a.vent/

RETROFITTING: Comprehensive surveys of all buildings free of charge should be available to all owners. Grants attractive to ensure a very high level of take-up should be available. Each local authority should take responsibility for its own area.  An inspectorial and advisory facility should be part of this initiative.

CYCLING: where possible footpaths should be redesigned so that cyclists can share their use. During rush hours morning and evening cycling should be legal on footpaths. Plans should be prepared for extensive contra flow cycle lanes where practicable.

FOOD PRODUCTION-GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES- AND FOOD SOVEREIGNTY:

FOOD SOVEREIGNTY: effort should be made to support local food systems and to improve connections between producers and consumers. Local authorities should establish municipal agricultural cooperatives to encourage facilitate and support urban food production. These could provide agricultural extension services, assist with access to land and materials and purchase at a guaranteed price to sell directly to consumers.

ALLOTMENTS:

 The development of allotments should be further promoted in suitable locations. Grants should be made available for community horticultural projects and projects at the individual household level which meet certain standards and scale.

DIET: Vegetarian and Vegan diets can contribute significantly to carbon and methane reduction. Promote where possible or at least disseminate information on factual aspects of these diets. 

GARDENING COURSES:  The local authorities should promote develop and subsidise programs for, offer support to existing community gardens and encourage and facilitate the formation of new ones. 

COOOPERATIVES: the establishment of cooperatives should be facilitated as part of an agreed program to achieve objectives outlined in the program. 

PROMOTING BIODIVERSITY: Grants should be made available to local community and environmental organisations for projects which contain trees and shrubs and other perennial plants which promote a high level of biodiversity. Plants which help the pollinators should be a priority.

BEEKEEPING: Courses in beekeeping should be facilitated and subsidised to encourage residents to be informed as to their potential for them and avail of their usefulness.

ORGANIC GARDENING INNOVATIONS: STANDARDS:  The use of pesticides and herbicides in parks and public areas should be discontinued. Instead an organic approach should prevail. Those which damage the pollinators, such as neonicotinoids and those which are carcinogenic, persistent and damage the immune system should not be used. Glyphosate and in its popular presentation ‘roundup’ should be discontinued as independent research has shown it to be carcinogenic. LINKS http://reset.me/story/mit-scientist-uncovers-link-between-glyphosate-gmos-and-the-autism-epidemic/

https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1079270152163108/

 

TRANSPORT:

  1. THE JOURNEY TO WORK: It should be an objective to change the modal split in favour of public transport using specific targets, e.g. 60% public transport, 40% private, with timescales to achieve the required levels.
  2.  REDUCING TRAFFIC FLOWS GENERALLY: Various methods should be employed to reduce traffic flows, including teleworking, working from home, for example one day per week, even/odd car numbers having access to the city centre, job sharing, car pooling.
  3. VEHICULAR POWER SOURCE: sources of vehicular fuel should be actively promoted in specific schemes which support way of limiting the prevalence of the internal combustion engine.

TELECONFERENCING: The technology is now available for teleconferencing. Funding should be made available for equipment to be installed to make this possible and reduce the need for physical presence at meetings. Applications could be assessed on a case by case basis.

TREES: THE ROLE OF TREES: there should be specific targets to increase tree cover in each local authority area, for example increase from 7% to 20% to achieve what already exists in some European cities. A mature tree can store up to a ton of carbon. PROMOTING TREES SHRUBS FOR DOMESTIC USE: The local authorities should make trees of appropriate scale available for individual domestic use either at no cost or minimum cost to ensure a high level of take-up, e.g. apple or pear trees, currants, gooseberry, raspberry, guilder Rose, Rowan, Silver birch.

JOB CREATION INNOVATION ENTREPRENEURSHIP There is an opportunity now for job creation and innovation in areas which may have been on the back burner for some time. The conceptual framework envisaged in this document is based for some categories on empowerment and constructive involvement of sectors of society which have been marginalised  without the tools and skills to form SMES in their local communities where they are seen as workers rather than innovators. In terms of upskilling there has been limited successes and the best that has been done for senior citizens who have so much skill and experience is often a ‘men’s shed’.

Surely they have so much more to offer to society. An innovative approach would appear to be possible in the area of horticulture and gardening/landscaping which appear to have taken a big hit in the recession. Here the industry and the communities could create innovative SMES developed on a cooperative basis.

NEW STRUCTURES NEEDED: New structures would be needed with the different local authorities working together as a team rather than specialising in their traditional ‘separatednesses’. Crossover operations are called for.

NEEDED FOR A MASTER PLAN AND SPECIFIC BUDGET: A Master plan should be made and a separate budget created for the implementation of the programs envisaged.

GENERAL COMMENTS:

  • The emerging plan should not be aspirational but contain specific targets, target projects take-up and completion times/targets for projects
  • The involvement of the public in the program should be vigorously promoted by an agency specially created for that purpose, with responsibility for the dissemination of information and maximising participation and take-ups 
  • The program should be monitored over time with annual reports on progress made. 
  • Partnerships should be created designed  to achieve objectives, e.g. teleconferencing.
  • There should be costings, grant aid where necessary  , and timescales. The appropriate agencies best placed  to achieve objectives should be identified   
  • There should be a shared promotional and facilitating agency sufficiently resourced to ensure the success of the initiatives identified.
  •  Establishment of cooperatives to achieve specific objectives agreed in the program

Where necessary bye-laws should be introduced in order to achieve objectives of the program.

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Forest Friends Ireland Biodiversity Week Events May 2016

Posted by admin on 05/17/16, 16:24:31
Monday 16:
Holy Cross College. Clonliffe Road Drumcondra, Dublin 9.
Tree identification with Forest Friends and biodiversity walk along the Tolka River
Meeting point: 11 am at the main gate.

Tuesday 17:
Open day at the Forest Friends Biodiversity/Healing garden at the rear of number 400 North Circular Road, Dublin: 1pm - 4 pm.
Entrance at the side - signposted.

Wednesday 18:
Biodiversity walk in the Dublin city Council Griffith Park Drumcondra, Dublin.
The walk will be conducted by a representative of Dublin City Council Parks. Meeting point: 11am at the main entrance.

Thursday 19:
Biodiversity walk at Blessington Street Basin, Blessington Street, Dublin.
The walk will be conducted by a representative of Dublin City Council Parks. Meeting point: 11 am at the main entrance.

Friday 20:
Vegetable plant workshop at the Forest Friends organic garden situated in the car park at the rear of the Arts and Business Campus 40 Lower Drumcondra Road, Dublin. 1pm-4pm.

These events are free and wheelchair friendly but places are limited. To book a place please contact: forestfriends.ie@gmail.com  or phone 0876198265.

Forest Friends is about to commence what will be an ongoing study of the biodiversity of Dublin’s North Inner City. For more information please contact forestfriends.ie@gmail.com  or phone 0876198265.

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Peace Forest Ireland Project- Updated April 2016

Posted by admin on 05/17/16, 16:10:52

The Peace Forest Ireland Project involves the creation of a peace forest stretching all along the border counties north and south Ireland. It involves bringing communities together to better understand the cultural diversity and biodiversity of the various communities.

The project also envisages the creation of a  Centre of Forest Biodiversity, based on best practice in Horticulture  Silva culture and Permaculture; a centre for environmental education, incorporating visitor centre, existing natural woodlands, new tree planting, using 100% native species, commemorative trees, woodcrafts, maximising community involvement; Ogham groves based on the Celtic tree alphabet; tree nursery. The centre envisaged will be held in trust in perpetuity for community benefit.

This Woodland Cross-border Peace Project with Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland will promote forest skills, a culture of trees and forests, capacity building and community development.  The project is not designed to interfere with the structures and practice of farming as existing but to be complementary to them. It is intended to enhance rather than damage local landscapes.

To assist the design of the project and its planning the elements incorporated in the Auroville Peace Centre in Tamil Nadu India will be examined. The 2016  module of the Peace Forest Project involves the planting of 4,000 commemorative peace trees  in memory of all those who lost their lives in the Northern Ireland conflict- This will be done by a process of  liaising with all groups in the border counties in order to involve them in the project.

To assist the process of planning and development of this module of the peace forest, advertising will be placed in the local newspapers in each Border County explaining what are envisaged and inviting ideas, and promoting involvement and support. Partnerships will be encouraged to assist all aspects and stages of the peace forest project, and to assist in the sourcing of suitable sites.

The overall project is ongoing in short, medium and long terms. The potential of the project is very significant in terms of climate change. The Tree Council or Ireland has donated five hundred trees, and the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland is making 2,000 trees available.

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Forest Friends Introduction video

Posted by admin on 02/25/16, 15:12:56
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Save Nature - Forest Friends ie

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