JULY 2005 - Volume 5 Number 7
COFORD’s activities are funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan, 2000-2006.
This newsletter was compiled and edited by Lauren MacLennan,
Technology Transfer Co-ordinator, COFORD
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On 29 June 2005, the Minister of State for Forestry, John Browne TD, welcomed the receipt and publication of the COFORD 2004 Annual Report. Launching the Annual Report, he stressed that the work of COFORD in forest research and development is a vital element in the success of the forestry programme. The cost of the forestry R&D programme in 2004 was almost €2.5m, which represented an increase of approximately 40% on the 2003 investment and underlined the increasing importance of forestry as a significant contributor to rural development and the wider economy.
In terms of output in 2004, there were 31 active projects under the COFORD programme which included the addition of 12 new projects – six dealing with silviculture and forest management, four on forest projects and process development and two on the environmental aspects of forestry. Ten new publications were produced during 2004 and eight events were hosted.
The Minister acknowledged the quantity and quality of COFORD’s work programme and commented that “their 2004 Annual Report shows that COFORD is addressing vital issues of concern to the forestry sector and wider society, in areas such as wood energy and climate change, and in working with the forest industry in developing new products and standards.” He continued: “I am particularly pleased to see that farm forestry is a strong focus of the COFORD programme. Forestry is now firmly established as a mainstream activity for farmers”. Minister Browne also made specific reference to the wood energy aspect of forestry, saying, “I have a particular interest in the wood energy area as it has the potential to deliver income to farmers selling wood chip for locally-based heating and power generation”.
The Minister thanked the COFORD Chairman, David Nevins, the members of the COFORD Council and the staff of COFORD for their ongoing efforts and commitment and wished them all continued success in the important role of co-ordinating and funding forest research and development projects.
Copies of the report are available, free of charge, from the COFORD office – email email@example.com
The next COFORD conference will take place on 20 and 21 September 2005, and will deal with the issue of plant quality – the key to successful forestry. The programme includes keynote presentations by international experts Dr Tom D Landis, USDA Forest Service, Dr Steve Columbo of the Centre for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research in Canada, as well as Dr Heinrich Losing from Germany, and Mike Perks of the UK Forestry Commission. Local input will come from Pat Long, Coillte; John Kavanagh, None-so-hardy nurseries; John O’Reilly, Greenbelt Ltd; John Connelly, Forest Service; Dr Mick Keane, Coillte; and Dr David Thompson, Coillte.
The event will take place at the Mount Wolseley Hotel in Tullow, Co Carlow. Field visits to the Ballintemple nursery and to Coillte’s containerised nursery at Aughrim are included in the programme. It is aimed at foresters, forestry consultants, woodland owners and managers and those considering future woodland establishment as well as nursery producers and all those with an interest in developing future quality woodlands.
If you wish to attend or find out more about the event, please contact John Fennessy at COFORD, tel 01-2130725 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Booking forms will be available in the next few weeks on the COFORD website www.coford.ie.
On 26 and 27 October 2005, the BIOFOREST project team will present their recommendations at a conference to be held in Port Laoise. The BIOFOREST project was co-funded by COFORD and the EPA, and has reached its conclusion. In addition to presentations by the research team, international leaders in the field have been invited to give a global perspective on the issues.
Details will be made available on the COFORD website as soon as the programme is finalised. If you wish to express your interest in the event please contact COFORD (email: email@example.com or telephone 01-2130725).
On 23 and 24 June 2005 COFORD presented the sixth in a series of events on growing and managing broadleaved plantations and preparation and sale of hardwood timber lots. This event took place at the Marriott Johnstown House Hotel in Enfield, Co Meath, with the outdoor sessions at Joe Barry’s forest in Kilcock and at Coillte’s estate in Donadea Forest Park. The two-day event consisted of indoor morning sessions followed by outdoor hands-on sessions in the forest.
On the first day the emphasis was on crop establishment and management while the focus on the second day was on the preparation, measurement and presentation of hardwood lots for sale. Seamus Dunne, Forest Service, presented a paper on The growing broadleaf resource – what is out there in which he quantified the growing broadleaf resource. Joe Barry, grower and journalist, presented the views of the grower in a presentation entitled Growing broadleaves – as the grower sees it. Mike Bulfin of Teagasc stressed the importance of management of broadleaves in his paper Production of quality broadleaves – the need for good management. The indoor session concluded with a presentation by Michael Carey on the Threats to the broadleaf resource – the impact of the grey squirrel. The focus of the afternoon session was management options for ash and other species in Joe Barry’s plantation where a lively discussion ensued. Chairman for the first days proceeding was Donal Whelan, Technical Director of the ITGA.
On the second day the emphasis changed to the hardwood resource with an opening presentation by Seamus Heaney, manager of Coillte’s sawmill in Dundrum who spoke on Sourcing and processing the hardwood resource. This was followed by an introduction to hardwood timber sales by Gavin Munro, Hardwood Consultant who spoke on the Preparation and presentation of woodlots and Valuing and grading of hardwoods. Gavin concluded his presentations with Options for sale of hardwoods – standing sales or felled and on roadside. The outdoor afternoon session was in Donadea Forest Park where George Hipwell, Forest Manager welcomed the group and gave some background information on the forest. Gavin Munro gave practical demonstrations on the many aspects of his talk, supported by Seamus Heaney and Pat Buckley, Coillte Hardwoods Procurement Manager. Chairing the day’s session was Tony Mannion, Technical Director of the Society of Irish Foresters.
COFORD gratefully acknowledges the contribution made by all the speakers and contributors, the Chairmen and the owners of the woodland visited for their contribution and continued support.
The presentations made at this seminar are available to download on the COFORD website at http://www.coford.ie/seminars2005/broadleaf.htm
In the June newsletter we announced the forthcoming publication of the second issue of Hardwood Matters. The publication date is almost upon us, so we remind you that it is still possible to include your listing in the upcoming issue.
This sales catalogue for hardwoods features both ‘for sale’ and ‘wanted’ sections and aims to bring the buyers and producers together in a more coherent manner. The first catalogue in this series was published earlier this year and was very well received. If you have any material for inclusion in the next catalogue please forward it to COFORD – the form can be downloaded from the COFORD web site at www.coford.ie/hardwoodmatters or obtained from the COFORD office. All material for inclusion should arrive at COFORD by 10 July 2005.
Carbon price trends need to be reflected in national and international policies
Elsewhere in the newsletter you will read of the presentation that COFORD made in the past week to the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) Joint Committee dealing with energy policy. Supporting the costings in the COFORD submission was the fact that carbon allowances were selling in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at about €20/tonne CO2. In fact, the price has risen steadily since the submission was finalised, and over the over the past week it has reached a level of €24.48/tonne CO2 (29 June), some 22% over the €20 level, and further strengthening the COFORD case.
Those who are interested in tracking the price of CO2 allowances on a regular basis can do so at Point Carbon http://www.pointcarbon.com. As well as daily prices, it shows how the price has varied over the previous four-week period (see price trend for June). Noticeably, the price rise has accelerated following the breaking of the €20/tonne ceiling.
Whether the upward trend will continue is unclear, but the market is quite active and demand appears to be strong. Currently, the upper price ceiling is effectively set by the €40/tonne CO2 penalty rate for installations that are non-compliant under the ETS. However, the penalty will increase to €100/tonne CO2 from 1 January 2008, the commencement date of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Given that prices are currently about half the penalty rate it is not unreasonable to speculate that prices could go as high as €50/tonne CO2 in the period post 2008.
An important factor affecting the allowance price will be whether or not credits from other Kyoto measures, such as forestry projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), will be allowable for use under the ETS. At present they are excluded.
CDM forestry projects are specifically targeted at developing countries. Many countries in both the developed and developing worlds argue that they should be allowed to access the ETS market, as it would provide improved liquidity for carbon-based forestry projects. It is hard to argue against this proposition, given that the scale of use of CDM forestry projects is already capped at 1% of Parties’ base year emissions, and that there are strong and transparent rules in place that cover issues such as risk of loss of carbon stocks, protection of biodiversity and socio-economic impacts.
On 22 June the Joint Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources discussed bioenergy, and presentations on the potential of wood biomass were made by COFORD, Coillte, IFA Farm Forestry Section and Clearpower Ltd. The committee is chaired by Noel O’Flynn, TD (Fianna Fail). Other deputies present included Tommy Broughan (Labour), Bernard Durkan (Fine Gael) Eamon Ryan (Green Party), and Senator Michael Finucane (Fine Gael).
The COFORD presentation centred on a recommendation to introduce a capital grant scheme for biomass heating systems on the size 75kW – 2MW. These could typically provide heating solutions to hotels, office blocks, nursing homes, hospitals and small industry – all heavy users of year-round heat. The aim would be to displace imported fossil fuel with locally sourced wood biomass. Such a scheme could see 100 MW of installed capacity within the next 3-5 years – enough to stimulate demand for up to 300,000 tonnes of wood biomass. This would generate strong market pull for private sector thinnings throughout the country, with a strong price paying potential.
A full transcript of proceedings can be viewed at http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=MAJ20050622.xml&Node=H3#H3. A copy of the COFORD submission to the Joint Committee can be viewed at www.coford.ie/reports/JODCMNRC.pdf
A Cork-based company, TreeMetrics Ltd, and their development partners at the University of Freiburg, Germany, have won a major European award, the Schweighofer Prize 2005, for their innovative forest assessment technology.
The Schweighofer Prize is awarded bi-annually for innovation in forestry, wood technology, timber products and marketing, and is regarded as the leading European award within the wood based industries. Industry leading figures from all over Europe attended the gala ceremony held in the Vienna City Hall. This was the first year that a development was deemed suitable for an award in the forestry category. ‘We are particularly delighted with this award as it validates the commerciality of our developments and gives our young company credibility within the industry at an international level,’ said Enda Keane, CEO TreeMetrics.
TreeMetrics Ltd teamed up with Professor Heinrich Speicker and his team from the Institute of Forest Growth in the University of Freiburg. They have co-operated in the research and development of a new forest assessment technology which will allow foresters and researchers to monitor forest crop attributes. The technology is based around the use of ground based lasers and image processing. The group were awarded €50,000 to further their ground-breaking research and development. ‘This is a timely award for us and also a good example of how an SME can co-operate with leading international third level expertise to develop innovative technology,’ said Garret Mullooly, Operations Director for TreeMetrics. This year they both embarked on a proof of concept project funded by COFORD.
Their work has shown that terrestrial laser scanners can provide timber growers and processors with significantly more information about the quality and value of forest crops. One major advantage of scan data technology is that a significant amount of data are captured and stored for subsequent analysis. In essence, a 3D image of individual stems can be captured in the field and measured later in an office (virtual) environment and, with the use of appropriate data processing and interpretation software, the compilation and analysis of large amounts of measurement data is possible. This will lead to many advantages for forest owners and buyers in the areas of supply chain analysis, forest valuation and optimisation of forest harvesting.
TreeMetrics Ltd was founded by Enda Keane and Garret Mullooly and is based in Cork. The company has been researching and developing a laser based forest assessment system for the past two years. In 2004 they participated in the Genesis Enterprise Programme which was supported by Enterprise
For further information contact Enda Keane, CEO TreeMetrics Limited, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The East Anglican Division of the Royal Forestry Society recently held a study tour to Denmark and Dr Michael Carey was invited to take part. COFORD contributed to Dr Carey’s participation under our Networking and Knowledge Transfer Programme (see http://www.coford.ie/funding/00to06.html). The study involved a visit to four large private estates in the south eastern part of Denmark. In addition the tour took in a visit to a woodchip fuelled gasification plant. The growth of broadleaved species on the four estates visited was most impressive with many lessons for Irish forestry. A copy of Dr Carey’s report on this tour can be viewed on the COFORD website at www.coford.ie/reports/Carey-report.pdf.
Common alder, one of our native broadleaf species, is easy to establish and not as vulnerable to deer and grey squirrel damage as some of our other broadleaf species. However it can suffer from a particular Phytophthora species – known as “alder Phytophthora” which has been recorded in several European countries including Ireland.
Recently, demand for transplants, has risen at an exponential rate while similar increases have been recorded in demand for seed. With much of the reproductive material being sourced from outside the country, some of it possibly from unsuitable sources, it was decided to establish a working party to look at the issues around alder seed sources.
The group was established to address the increased demand for common alder seed and plants with a clear objective to “examine the current supply and demand for seed and plants of the species and to identify and develop suitable seed sources to meet a projected increase in future demand on a sustainable basis” The group has recently conducted a survey of alder stands throughout the country and at present a member of the working group is carrying out a detailed examination of each stand. As a result of this examination it is hoped that suitable seed sources will be identified. If you known of any stands of alder (young or old) and wish to participate in this survey please contact John Fennessy at COFORD (email: email@example.com).
Forests play a fundamental role in the ecological, social and cultural well-being of people and their communities around the world. By regenerating forests after harvest or other disturbance, we ensure the sustainable supply of timber and wood products and the other important benefits that forests produce.
The complexity of the task means that there is a thin line between success and failure of forest regeneration. Prompt and cost-effective forest regeneration requires the application of biological, ecological and economic principles, the latest technologies, much planning, and significant political and financial commitment.
To help advance the science and practice of forest regeneration around the world, the Forest Renewal Co-op and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources are hosting The Thin Green Line, an international symposium on planting stock and stand establishment practices to enhance forest productivity.
This symposium will bring together leaders in the science and practice of reforestation and will provide a synthesis and summary of state-of-the-art practices for regenerating forests the world over.
Presentations will address four related themes:
The symposium will take place from 25 to 28 July 2005. Further information is available at www.forestrenewal.ca/thingreenline.
The Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science, UCC, runs a number of continuing professional development courses, one of which is a Certificate in Biodiversity Components of Forestry.
The target group for the course includes people in the state or private sector who are directly involved in forestry or woodland management and related activities. It will also be of benefit to those in government and other agencies whose work relates to the subject. Those who have taken the course to date include: Forest Service personnel; staff of Coillte; staff of National, Parks & Wildlife Service; and private contractors and growers.
Entrants are admitted to the course each year and the next cycle begins in September 2005. It will run on Sept 7-9, 13-16 and for a similar period in April 2006.
This block release course provides participants with a sound scientific understanding of the ecological principles underlying forest biodiversity and its assessment as well as practical techniques to aid in the conduct of such assessments in the field. It was initiated in 2001 and provides people involved in forest management, or those who have to liaise with forestry, with practical knowledge and 'hands-on' training that will help them to address the issues of biodiversity maintenance and enhancement in their management programmes.
After completion of the Certificate, participants will have knowledge of:
They will also have completed a number of field surveys that will:
For further information contact Dr Fidelma Butler, Department of Zoology, Ecology & Plant Science, University College, Cork, Tel. 021 4904390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Donegal County Council is hosting a two-day international workshop in Donegal on the 17th and 18th October 2005. The workshop, Forest Link – Linking Policies to Communities is the culmination of an EU-funded project. Local key players came together in 2000 to develop an integrated, long-term forest strategy under the auspices of the County Development Board. This strategy clearly identified the need for a co-ordinated approach at a regional, national and international level to better manage our forest resources to maximise the economic, environmental and social benefits to local rural and urban communities.
This integrated Donegal forest strategy is being implemented through the Forest Link project. It focuses on adding value to timber resources of private forest owners and the development of community forests in Co. Donegal. This is achieved through the creation and enhancement of linkages and the examination of models of best practice.
The aim of this workshop is to encourage better integration of forest and rural development policies as they directly affect and are affected by local, national and international policies. The workshop will provide ideas and tools to develop sustainable and integrated forest policies while promoting and encouraging community involvement. It will examine local, national and international models of best practice.
The role of forestry is changing in Irish society. The contribution of forestry to the development of local communities cannot be underestimated. It is time for a highly collaborative approach, based on partnerships that recognise the important linkages between landowners, government, rural communities, natural resource professionals and other stakeholders.
The workshop is targeted at central, regional and local government; members of the county development board; natural resource companies; rural development companies; training and research institutes; community groups; landowners.
For more information, log onto www.forest-link.com
An EUBIONET II international training programme on wood fuel production for small-scale use and district heating plants will take place from 3 to 7 October 2005, at the North Karelia Polytechnic, Joensuu, Finland
North Karelia Polytechnic and VTT Processes will organise an international training programme on wood fuel production methods as a part of the EU-funded project EUBIONET II. The programme consists of lectures and site visits to wood fuel production sites and heating stations fuelled by wood chips or pellets and will include:
The International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) is an independent international scientific organisation that seeks to improve the well-being of present and future generations of people by enhancing conservation and the deployment of agricultural biodiversity on farms and in forests. It is one of 15 Future Harvest Centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an association of public and private members who support efforts to mobilize cutting-edge science to reduce hunger and poverty, improve human nutrition and health and to protect the environment. It is currently seeking to recruit a Senior Scientist to work on Forest Biodiversity and based at its headquarters just outside
Application procedure and further details are available from Ms Ingrid Lambert, Human Resources Manager, IPGRI, Via dei Tre Denari 472/a, 00057 Maccarese, Rome. Fax 0039 0661 18341 or preferably on line at IPGRI-FGRVACANCY@CGIAR.ORG not later than 29 July 2005.
The EFI Annual Report 2004 is now available at https://www.efi.fi/news/annrep.html. For further information, contact Anu Ruusila, External Relations Manager, European Forest Institute, email: Anu.Ruusila@efi.fi or visit www.efi.fi.
Clearpower Ltd. have installed a fully automated Heizomat wood chip/pellet system to deliver the space and hot water heating for the RDS Headquarters and kitchens in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. The new Clearpower system has displaced a natural gas system, which is still in place to take on peak loads if required.
The total turnkey system cost was €31,000, including design, equipment supply, civil/M&E works for the boiler house/plumbing connections, and installation. The boiler and fuel store sits alongside the main building in a new standalone purpose built construction.
Clearpower have signed a five year deal to supply fuel. With wood chip fuel delivered in at under 2 cent per KWh versus natural gas at 2.5cent per KWh (20% reduction), the RDS estimate that they will payback the additional capital expenditure relatively quickly, and be saving money every year on their fuel bill thereafter.
“We have a significant excess of low grade timber resources in Ireland, produced during the thinning, harvesting and processing of timber at the sawmills. In addition many landowners are exploring the merits of dedicated energy crops to diversify into during this period of CAP change” said Pat McDermott of the RDS. “We wanted to set up a demonstration of how this locally produced resource can be used to profitably displace imported fossil fuels, and I must say we are delighted with the result delivered by Clearpower”.
“We can deliver this fuel to modern, fully automated and highly efficient heating systems at significantly less than the price of fossil fuels, plus it is carbon neutral and sustainable” said Simon Dick of Clearpower. “Our European neighbours have really improved the technology over the past decade, which is now on a par with the useability of an oil or gas system – and as a result there is nothing new or risky here for us in Ireland”
For further information, contact Clearpower Ltd. - tel: 01-6690979; email: email@example.com