Teak 21 and the Irish Connection

“Careful selection of plant material is imperative in order for communities to obtain a good teak crop”

Levels of consumption have made Ireland one of the highest per capita consumers of tropical hardwoods in the EU

TEAK 21 was founded in Ireland to help solve the tropical hardwood crisis, even though the country is in the temperate zone. However, Ireland is not detached from the crisis. Many of the so-called ‘teak’ windows, doors, shop fronts and interior décor of lounges, hotels and dwellings that grace the architectural landscape of the country stand as a testimony to the trade in tropical timber that has been carried out over the second half of the 20th century.

When Ireland’s tropical timber imports are aggregated over the last 50 years, they represent a sizeable area of forest destruction. For example, to produce the country’s (1996) imports on a sustainable basis would require an area of natural forest some 200 times the size of the Phoenix Park in Dublin. In 2000 Ireland’s trade in tropical hardwoods increased by 140% in value over the 1999 figure. Levels of consumption have made Ireland one of the highest per capita consumers of tropical hardwoods in the EU.

Ireland has a reasonably generous attitude towards overseas development. However, unlike agriculture, the Irish forestry sector has not made any major contributions to development aid. Nonetheless, a number of Irish foresters have worked in the developing world, have made contributions to development and are available for consultation.

Ireland, like many industrialized countries, owes a debt to tropical forests and the local communities that depend upon them. To put something back is not only consistent with Ireland’s declared aim of sustainable development but is a moral imperative in the light of the wood resources the country uses.

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Soil Selection
“Careful soil selection is vital in order to gain the full potential of teak growth and yield”

“If it is felt that the required levels of input to reach a quality teak crop are not achievable, then other species should be considered, unless the aim is to provide a low value crop for local consumption only”

TEAK 21 - Irish Foresters and Associate Members

Ted Farrell, Professor Emeritus, UCD; Gerhardt Gallagher (Secretary T21) Forestry Consultant; Len Gallagher, Wood Expert (retd.) Enterprise Ireland; Jack Gardiner, Professor (and Dean) Emeritus, UCD; Derry O’Hegarty, Senior Tax Partner (retd.); Eugene Hendrick, Senior Policy Manager, Forest Service, DAF; Ray Keogh (International Coordinator T21 Technical Director Tectona G Capital), Tropical Forestry Expert; Diarmuid McAree, Chief Forest Officer Forest Service, DAF (retd.) Lecturer; Fergal Mulloy (Chair T21) Director COFORD and European Forest Institute IFI (retd.); Dermot O’Brien, GM Coillte (retd.); Forest Auditor, Michael O’Brien, Region Manager Coillte (retd.) and RDS Forestry Awards Judge; Tom Roche, Director Just Forests, Lobbyist; Ercus Stewart, Senior Council

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