The first funding to support sustainable ‘continuous cover’ forestry projects has been announced by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.
Drawn from the €125m Natural Capital Finance Facility (“NCFC”), €12.5m has been allocated to sustainable Irish forestry activities.
Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank responsible for Ireland in a press release said:
“The new EUR 12.5 million investment builds on the EIB’s recent support for forestry and agriculture in the country and will demonstrate how best practice in Ireland’s world-class forestry industry can take better account of the need to safeguard biodiversity, soils and landscapes, and help resist the threats associated with climate change.”
The funding will go through SLM Partners, an asset manager that acquires and manages rural land on behalf of institutional investors.
Continuous cover forestry, also known as “close to nature” forestry, replaces traditional clearfelling by felling individual trees or in small groups by cycles so that forest cover is maintained on a permanent basis, with less damage to water sources or soil erosion.
A new €15m cooperation fund with the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) was also announced, alongside support for 30 different schemes in partnership with Rewilding Europe Capital (REC), Europe’s first dedicated financier of conservation and rewilding enterprises.