The Woodland Environmental Fund (WEF) launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine just over a year ago is going from strength to strength, as a growing number of businesses express their interest in participating in the initiative. This interest is now being converted into real commitments with Accenture being the latest business to fund the establishment of native woodlands under the WEF.
The WEF aims to promote higher levels of native woodland establishment to capture carbon and create habitats rich in biodiversity. The initiative provides a shared platform for Government, the business community and landowners to work together to help meet planting targets set out in the Climate Action Plan. Under WEF, businesses can be associated with individual native woodlands and use the environmental benefits linked to these forests to demonstrate that they are meeting their responsibilities to the local environment and Ireland’s communities.
Accenture has committed to establishing 25 hectares of new woodland under the WEF which involves the planting of over 75,000 individual native trees such as oak, alder, birch and Scots pine. The first Accenture site to be planted is located near the scenic Glen of the Downs, County Wicklow, an area that is renowned for its mature woodland landscape. The Minister said “I am delighted to see more businesses getting involved in planting trees, forestry is simply indispensable when it comes to tackling both climate change and falling biodiversity. It is only by working together in partnership that these challenges can be addressed.”
Alastair Blair, country managing director of Accenture in Ireland said “As a large organisation operating in Ireland for the last 50 years, we have a responsibility to protect our local environment for future generations. By establishing 25 hectares of native woodland, we are doing our part to reduce CO2 emissions and protect our rich but falling biodiversity. The WEF initiative is a powerful way of bringing industry and Government together to really make a difference to our environment.”
The Department is hosting a WEF breakfast briefing event at the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin on 28th November 2019 which will be an opportunity for companies to learn more about the WEF and to hear first-hand about the experiences of developing a native woodland. RSVP to [email protected]. For specific queries on this event please contact Karl Coggins at [email protected] or learn more about the WEF initiative at https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/forestry/grantandpremiumschemes/2018/DAFMWEFleaflet14Sept18250918.pdf
Click here to view a video of the first WEF project to be completed.