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  • Northside West

Climate activists protest at Botanic Gardens event

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019 1:00pm
Climate activists protest at Botanic Gardens event

Climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion Ireland acted out a symbolic battle between ‘Corporate Man’ and ‘The Spirit of the Forest’ outside the Botanic Gardens.

Climate activists protest at Botanic Gardens event

Climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion Ireland acted out a symbolic battle between ‘Corporate Man’ and ‘The Spirit of the Forest’ outside the Botanic Gardens.

CAMPAIGNERS attached to a radical environmental group staged a protest at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin last week.

The protest by Extinction Rebellion Ireland coincided with a conference in the gardens on the climate emergency organised by Forestry Industries Ireland.

Science has shown that large scale tree planting can reduce levels of carbon in the atmosphere and thereby help prevent a climate catastrophe.

More trees are being planted in Ireland but Extinction Rebellion say that the type of trees favoured by the forestry industry and Coillte, conifer plantations consisting of Sitka Spruce, is not the answer.

“Extinction Rebellion Ireland argue that the growing climate catastrophe should not be used as an excuse to plant any more non-native commercial monoculture plantations,” a spokesperson for the group said.

“Not only are such plantations, harvested after a couple of decades and often unlocking carbon already stored away in bogs, far less effective in reducing levels of CO2 than natural native woodlands, but current practices of planting and managing Sitka plantations are detrimental to Ireland’s wildlife, in particular to many species of birds and insects already threatened by extinction.”

Extinction Rebellion is demanding the restoration of existing native forests, and a commitment from the Irish Government to set aside large areas of land for rewilding and mature native woodland.

“Any commercial forestry should consist of mixed native broadleaf species and should benefit local farmers rather than foreign investors,” the spokesperson continued.

“Grants to farmers to plant biodiversity enhancing trees on farmland, which will have a real chance at reducing the carbon levels that cause global warming, should be greatly increased and farmers should be encouraged to do so.

“Forests should never be planted on the habitat of our most endangered birds and animals.”

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