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News

Planting a Forest is Easy Treesie!

On the 12th of December we were thrilled to be joined by a big bunch of primary school children in what will soon be a forested area of Malahide. In collaboration with Easy Treesie, an organisation aiming to help Ireland's one million school-age children plant one million trees by 2023, we planted no less than 300 trees! Four of our own volunteers, Filip, Camilla, Vicky and Gabja, met the multiple classes of school kids as they jumped off the buses and guided them from the car park to the plantation site. Everyone was given planting gear - gloves, shovels, tree  whips, etc - and guided through the tree planting process. The sense of joy felt from getting our hands dirty,…
Rowena Edwards
January 15, 2019
News

Ireland Divests: What Does it Mean?

  You've probably all heard the news that Ireland is set to become the first country to divest from fossil fuels. Any move away from fossil fuels is a move in the right direction, but the headlines threaten to become slightly hyperbolic. So here's exactly what the government agreed to do, and exactly what it means for Ireland. The lower house has voted to sell off public investments in fossil fuels 'as soon as is practicable'. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill requires the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to divest from direct investments in fossil fuel undertakings within five years. 'Fossil fuel undertakings' are defined as undertakings in which 20% or more of the turnover comes from the exploration, extraction…
Rowena Edwards
August 12, 2018
News

Who turned up the heat?

The last time Ireland had a summer heatwave as extreme as this one was 1976. A simpler time - a time before climate change, you may say with a sigh - but no. By 1976 the results of the Industrial Revolution already had some scientists warning of the potential climatic dangers of carbon dioxide pollution. Now, in 2018, we're faced with those dangers every day. And while a spell of hot, dry weather in a place as notoriously wet as Ireland is welcomed with open arms by the general populace, the writing on the wall is hard to ignore. In Ireland, the current heatwave was made more than twice as likely by climate change. That's nothing compared to Denmark's heatwave,…
Rowena Edwards
July 29, 2018
News

Costa Rica Banning Single-Use Plastics by 2021

In a fantastic example of environmental leadership, Costa Rica has cemented its plans to ban all single-use plastics by 2021. The national strategy to phase out all single-use plastics was first revealed on World Environment Day last year and is part of the nation's plan to be carbon neutral by 2021. But, crucially, the single-use plastics strategy is not just about eliminating these extremely harmful plastics. It's about incentivising alternatives. With support from the United Nations Development Plan, an online platform has been developed that allows citizens and businesses to follow the country's progress, get inspired by others' initiatives and register their own products and alternative materials. Alongside other incentives and investments, it's already paying off: Costa Rican college students…
Rowena Edwards
June 30, 2018
News

Bottled Up

Hi friends, As a South Australian, I've been lucky enough to take plastic bottle refund schemes for granted most of my life. I remember the huge feed bags in the garage getting fuller and fuller until we'd stuff them into back of the car and drive them to the recycling depot. I'd sit in the car and listen to the clanging, popping and clattering of tin cans, milk cartons and soft drink containers being sorted into their respective crates, and then Dad would reappear with a nice big handful of coins! Magic! I also remember road tripping through other Australian states that weren't so lucky and gaping at the debris covering the roadsides, testament to thousands of thirsty travellers chucking…
Rowena Edwards
June 8, 2018
News

Queensland Passes Much Needed Land-Clearing Laws

I’m super excited to be sharing this post with you today because just a few weeks ago, when I started drafting it, the title was ‘Queensland clears its forests at a higher rate than Brazil’. Bit of a turnaround, eh? Australia is often perceived as a vast wilderness of snakes, sharks, spiders, kangaroos, koalas, and by default, the habitats they rely upon. So it may come as a shock to hear that since 2013, the northern state of Queensland has been clearing its forests at a ‘globally significant’ rate. In 2015-16, that rate was about 0.45%. For comparison, in the same period, Brazil cleared the Amazon at a rate of 0.24%. This was largely due to the scrapping of many…
Rowena Edwards
May 14, 2018
News

Beelievers

Hi everyone! Some good news for blog #2 - after years and years of public campaigning, the EU has agreed to ban the three most dangerous bee-killing pesticides! These pesticides are commonly known as neonics, which is short for neonicotinoids. They have been linked to bee poisoning and colony collapse disorder, two of the biggest threats to bee survival worldwide. With such well-documented, disastrous effects on pollinators, the banning of the three most dangerous neonics - imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam - is long overdue. Neonics become incorporated into plants' cells as they grow, including in the pollen and nectar. When insects eat the plant, their nerve cells are destroyed and they die. As you can imagine, this makes neonics a…
Rowena Edwards
May 8, 2018
News

Little Blog, Big Dreams

Hi everyone, and welcome to The Afforestation Project Blog!   I’m insanely excited to be getting this underway and a lot of nature puns will probably escape before I can rein them in (think ‘digging holes’, ‘sowing seeds’ etc. Collective groaning ensues.) This is the first blog entry, so I’m going to use it to introduce myself and start an open discussion about what this blog will look like and what it will set out to achieve. Yes, it could end up being a one-way discussion, but if you’re discovering this months later, feel free to reignite things with a comment - I will read and respond, I promise! I’m Rowena, an Australian traveller with an affinity for Ireland and…
Rowena Edwards
April 29, 2018