WRECK THE « CLIMATE CHANCE » SUMMIT! At Nantes, France, from 26 to 28 September 2016 20:04 Jul 17 0 comments
Why the corporate capture of COP21 means we must Kick Big Polluters Out of climate policy 22:47 Dec 03 3 comments
Shale Gas Bulletin Ireland – . Majority of MEPs support fracking moratorium in symbolic vote 23:09 Jul 19 0 comments
Climate change - Making big polluters pay / Overpopulation 11:51 Dec 07 11 commentsmore >>
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
New Books Worth Reading Mon Sep 19, 2016 23:25 | Seán Sheehan
13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips
Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony
Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young
Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft
Electoralism vs Abstentionism (Or: Why You Should Run For Office) Fri Aug 26, 2016 17:07 | Slyvia Smith
Centrism extremism: how horseshoe-politics silences brutality Sat Jul 02, 2016 18:25 | yeksmesh
Of Tankies, Trots and Social Democrats Thu May 12, 2016 23:41 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Avatars of the Advanced-Capitalist Psyche â€“ Capitain America: Civil War Mon May 09, 2016 00:07 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Wailings about Left Unity Sat Feb 13, 2016 01:13 | James O'Brien
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015
ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
Govt Plans to Sell Off Our Forests for 3 days Worth of Expenditure. Public Will Loose Access for 90 Years
Govt claims forest worth more 50% than they are to justify sell off. Bertie Ahern is facilitating this.
The government is planning to sell off our national forests which are currently owned by Coillte. The plan would be to sell harvesting rights on 500,000 acres out of 1.2 million that they manage. They claim it is worth €700 million although in the Peter Bacon report on Forestry, he puts the true value at €360 million or the equivalent of 3 days of government expenditure. Bacon said: "economic rationale for the proposed sale of harvesting rights no longer stands up and cannot be justified." and that he further concluded it would actually cost the state €1,300 million to sell the harvesting rights of Coillte due to various liabilities. The report says that the forests should be developed further as a public resource.
But it does not stop just there because part of the plan to sell the harvesting rights would see the land lease to private companies for 90 years and there would be no obligation to continue public access and given experience it other countries the public would lose access to these lands for recreation. This would affect tourism, hikers, mountain-bikers, joggers, families out on weekend walks and many other forms of recreation. Leasing the land for 90 years is a good as selling it for good!
There are a number of private institutions interested in grabbing our national forests amongst them Chinese firms who in all likelihood would bring in their own people and trunks and ship the unprocessed wood back to China directly, thereby threatening many existing timber related jobs and local saw-mills in Ireland. Last year trade agreements were signed when the Chinese visited Ireland and we still do not know what promises were made since they are secret.
One of the companies also interested is a Swiss private pension firm Helvetia Wealth and none other than ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was appointed it's chairman no doubt with an eye to contacts and network of people within government, councils, civil service and state bodies that he would have. In fact it is not even possible to know from Coillte if any sales have already been made with Helvetia given that Coillte have already sold 40,000 acres of our public land to the private sector. But Ahern is not just inserted into Helvetia for he is also chairman of the industry body International Forest Fund who are also behind the land grab not just in Ireland but elsewhere. We must recall that this is the same lucky Ahern who told the tribunal that he won €25,000 at the races and lead the economic miracle in Ireland and told the 'naysayers' to go hang themselves. Unfortunately quite a number of people have committed suicide since the miracle economy collapsed.
Of the 40,000 acres already sold a large chunk were sold to facilitate Shell in Mayo for their operations where they will extract the Corrib Gas for free since they will pay no royalties and will be able to write over all costs against tax. Land was also sold to Wind Farm developers in areas that would be considered unsustainable for wind because the sites are not the best locations for wind and they would be underpowered.
People should be aware that much of the forestry targeted for the sell off is on land which was planted at state expense in the 1960s by the then Forestry Service. No doubt there was many a statement then about how these were for our future. Instead because of the insistence of bailing out bankers, developers, speculators & gamblers and bond holders this wealth is stolen from us all through sleight of hand.
The Woodland League has been campaigning for the past few years against the sell-off of our forests and it is time that the pressure is stepped up and more people take notice and get involved. In Sweden where parts of their forests were privatised a few years ago, they have now reversed the process and are taking them back into public ownership.
In the UK, similar moves are afoot. It is possible we can win this fight as this is a very broad issue affecting a very broad range of groups and people and affects all counties.
We also need to put a stop to the drip drip selling off of forestry that is happening. The reason appears to be is because Coillte who were given 1.2 million acres and had profits of €400 million have managed to screw up and appear to be in great financial difficulty particularly with their pension fund and they seem to have only kept going because they are selling off the nation's silverware.
The Bacon report was commissioned by the Forestry workers union, IMPACT and is available here or the copy attached to this article. Assessment of the Consequences of the Proposed Sale of Coillte’s Timber Harvesting Rights
Connemara Community Radio carried the interview (attached here) of Andrew St. Ledger of the Woodland League on Jan 31st 2013 days after the publication of the report. Much of the above report is based on this interview.
The Woodland League ( http://woodlandleague.org/ ) who are opposed to the sell-off of Coillte harvesting rights and land are promoting an alternative strategy which consists of the 3 R's of forestry. These stand for
1) Regeneration of native forests
They are running a petition to save Ireland's forests and have 37k signatures so far.
Interview of Andrew St. Ledger of Wood Land League on Connemara Community Radio 14.22 Mb
bacon_forestry_final_report_on_sale_of_coillte_harvestingrights.pdf 0.75 Mb