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AGM Notice 2020

Forest Friends Ireland AGM

December 11th 2020

Our AGM 2020 will take place at 12.00 noon on the December 11th, any motions for the AGM to be submitted by email to the secretary (secretary@forestfriends.ie) no later than Tuesday December 1st.

Because of the Covid 19 restrictions we will use Zoom or other appropriate virtual means of communications for the AGM and details will be posted here in advance of the meeting.


Clonliffe Elevation

Forest Friends Ireland support local

residents in planning appeal ...

Forest Friends Ireland have made a submission to An Bord Pleanala in relation to a widely supported appeal against the development of a 200 bedroom hotel and extensive site works which will have a significant impact on local residents in the area of Clonliffe Road, Dublin.

You can download the FFI submission from here (pdf) and you can view the original planning application documents and third party observations which are available at the local authority Dublin City Council's website here ... 

The application received planning permission on August 21st this year despite 17 third party objections.


Peace Forest Ireland Project

The Peace Forest Ireland Project involves the creation of a peace forest stretching all along the border counties north and south Ireland. It involves bringing communities together to better understand the cultural diversity and biodiversity of the various communities.


Newsletter No. 29 ...

Newsletter No 29 download


EU Peace Plus 2020

PEACE PLUS is a new EU cross-border programme that will contribute to a more prosperous and stable society in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.

The programme will achieve this by funding activities that promote peace and reconciliation and contribute to the cross-border economic and territorial development of the region.

Forest Friends Ireland have made a submission to this programme and you can download or view that document from here ...


Chairmans Report 2019


FFI AGM 2019

Forest Friends Ireland AGM Notice 

Please note the date for Forest Friends Ireland 2019  AGM is the 6th. December and the starting time is 12.00. Location is 40 Lower Drumcondra Road, Forest Friends office.

Please submit items to the above address for the agenda for the attention of the secretary. 

Forest Friends International AGM Notice 

Please note the date for Forest Friends International 2019  AGM is the 6th. December and the starting time is 14.30. Location is 40 Lower Drumcondra Road, Forest Friends Ireland office.

Please submit items to the above address for the agenda for the attention of the secretary.


Forest Friends Ireland are proud to share the news

of a step  forward in achieving peace

in the Horn of Africa.

Forest Friends Ireland, through our African organisation Forest Friends International [forestfriendsinternational.org], have been promoting the idea of a World Peace Centre in Ethiopia for some time and have taken part in the "Green Legacy" goal conceived by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed when on July 29th 2019 members of Forest Friends International in Ethiopia helped to plant some of the of 353,633,660 seedlings achieved in 12 Hours and breaking the world record for the most trees planted in a day. Based initially at the Gulele Botanical Garden in the capital of Addis Ababa, volunteers began planting over 350 million trees spanning right across the country.

The last country to attempt such a feat was India, who have been reigning champions since 2016 when they planted 49.3 million trees in just one day, involving 800,000 volunteers. Back in 2018, China announced plans to plant forests covering an area roughly the size of Ireland and the UK and spent over 5 million Euro in developing a new northern forest.

Forest Friends Ireland believe access to education is essential in reversing illegal deforestation and non-respectful forest management Therefore we are committed, through Forest Friends International, to establish a World Peace Centre in Ethiopia where conferences and courses on the preservation of the environment will be given and a special activity area dedicated to children will be created. This centre will also be a place of rest. In a difficult geo-political context, it will be possible for the population to find at the World Peace Centre a safe refuge and a place of meditation and rest.

The awarding of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed lends a great impetus to Forest Friends International in the development of the World Peace Centre in the region.

The Prime Minister was awarded the 100th Peace Prize for his efforts to "achieve peace and 
international cooperation". A total of 301 candidates had been nominated for the prestigious award, including 223 individuals and 78 organisations.

Abiy Ahmed
[Image: World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell]

Following the announcement by the Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, Mr Abiy said he was "humbled and thrilled. It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia and I can imagine how the rest of Africa's leaders will take it positively to work on [the] peace-building process on our continent," in a phone call with the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Mr Abiy, 43, was honoured for his "decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea", the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

Throughout his campaign for peace in the horn of Africa, Abiy Ahmed has preached a message of "Medemer" - meaning togetherness or inclusiveness. 

After becoming prime minister in April 2018, Mr Abiy introduced massive liberalising reforms to Ethiopia, shaking up what was a tightly controlled nation.

Since the Eritrea deal, Mr Abiy - the youngest head of government in Africa - has also been involved in peace processes in other African countries, the committee said. This has included helping to broker an agreement between Sudan's military leaders and civilian opposition after months of protests.

Mr Abiy was born in Ethiopia in 1976 to a Muslim father and Christian mother. Well educated he has several degrees, including a doctorate degree in peace and security issues and a master's degree in transformational leadership.

As a teenager, he joined the armed struggle against the former Derg regime - a Communist military junta that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987 and later served as a UN peacekeeper in Rwanda. He joined politics in 2010, becoming a member of the Oromo People's Democratic Organization, before being elected as a member of parliament.

His time as an MP coincided with clashes between Muslims and Christians. He devised a lasting solution to the problem by setting up a "Religious Forum for Peace".

Other notable Nobel Peace Prize winners include former US presidents Barack Obama (2009) and Jimmy Carter (2002), child education activist Malala Yousafzai (shared 2014), the European Union (2012), the United Nations and its then-general-secretary, Kofi Annan, (shared 2001) and Mother Teresa (1979).

The recipient of each Nobel prize receives three things:

- a Nobel diploma, each of which is a unique work of art
- a Nobel medal, which has differing designs
- a cash prize of 9m Swedish krona - which is split between winners when there is more than one. They have to deliver a lecture to receive the money

The prizes are presented at ceremonies on 10 December in Stockholm and Oslo.


Biodiversity Week Report 2019
Our National Biodiversity Week 2019 report can be read here ... (pdf)

National Biodiversity Week 2019


Heritage Ireland 2030

Forest Friends Ireland

Heritage Ireland 2030 Submission

Heritage Ireland 2030– is Ireland's national heritage plan

  • Heritage Ireland 2030 is the Government’s commitment to a revitalised and refreshed National Heritage Plan.
  • Heritage Ireland 2030 will recognise the vital role our heritage plays in our community, our economy and our society.
  • Heritage Ireland 2030 will be a coherent, comprehensive and inspiring framework of values, principles and strategic priorities which will guide and inform the heritage sector over the next decade.
  • Heritage Ireland 2030 will enshrine the shared responsibility of people, communities, businesses and local and national Government in protecting our heritage and ensuring it is cared for into the future.
  • Heritage Ireland 2030 will help us enjoy, understand and care for our heritage.
  • The Irish Government have facilitated cal Heritage Ireland 2030 public consultation sessions - drop in information events, where people can call in, hear more about the Heritage Ireland 2030 plan. Forest Friends Ireland have prepared a comprehensive submission ...


"Frankenskies" - modifying our weather

Frankenskies - Youtube

"He who controls the weather controls the World" ... This video explores the attempts over the last six decades to modify the Earths weather. One such project - "Project Stormfury" - was an attempt to weaken tropical cyclones by flying aircraft into them and seeding with silver iodide. The project was run by the United States Government from 1962 to 1983.

The hypothesis was that the silver iodide would cause supercooled water in the storm to freeze, disrupting the inner structure of the hurricane. This led to the seeding of several Atlantic hurricanes. However, it was later shown that this hypothesis was incorrect.

The last experimental flight was flown in 1971, due to a lack of candidate storms and a changeover in NOAA's fleet. More than a decade after the last modification experiment, Project Stormfury was officially canceled. Although a failure in its goal of reducing the destructiveness of hurricanes, Project Stormfury was not without merit. The observational data and storm lifecycle research generated by Stormfury helped improve meteorologists' ability to forecast the movement and intensity of future hurricanes. 


Forest Friends Ireland - Initial Consultation - Ireland's National Energy & Climate Plan 2021 - 2030


Environment - policy and Issues in Italy

Produced by our interns here at FFI this report ( pdf download ) investigates environmental and health challenges facing Europe today with a focus on environmental policy in Italy. The report was produced by Giovanni Battista ANGRISANO, Francesca FERRARO Giovanni Lorenzo ORLANDO and Antonella VICECONTI, supervised by John HAUGHTON of Forest Friends Ireland and facilitated by Concetto LA MALFA. 


FFI Newsletter 28 published today (pdf)...

FFI Newsletter 28 Cover


FFI Intership Programme



Lough Tay

We had a letter over the weekend from a reader regarding Luggala in County Wicklow. The 18th century house and almost 5,000 acres of land are for sale at an asking price of €28,000,000 and the sale is raising concern on the protection of and access to this spectacular area of natural beauty and heritage.

" I am writing to you looking for your organisations support in a very important cause- That a large area of very important natural habitats in Co.Wicklow (part of Luggala Estate) become part of The Wicklow Mountains National Park.

Eamon de Buitlear once said of Luggala that 'you can find nearly every animal that lives in Ireland in Luggala'. It holds a number of very Important habitats, lake and river, ancient oak woods, wild valleys, heather moorland and wild grassy meadows. There are few places where it is possible to watch otters on a lake or river, then stroll through ancient oak woods covered in bluebells listening to woodpeckers, then watch grouse on heather moorland and falcons swoop by cliffs all in about 1hrs walk.

The 5000 acre Luggala estate is for sale on the open market and future public access is threatened. It is my opinion and that of The Wicklow Mountains National Park that a sizeable portion of the estate lands (National Parks recommend 4000 out of 5000 acres) be purchased by the State to become part of The Wicklow Mountains National Park, which would protect the flora and fauna and allow the public access to enjoy the place.

I have started a petition for this, it is mainly worded on the grounds of public access although obviously with the idea that the National Parks would own it, its valuable habitats would be protected."

Forest Friends Ireland believe this is a worthy cause and urge all our members and readers to sign and share the petition at change.org.


New trees new life ...

Forest Friends next project is the planting of 8,000 trees in the border counties to celebrate the births of children born in the border counties in 2016.

For this project we need access to land and to source the trees. The trees can be planted in one or many sites and residents and communities in the border counties can plant and register the trees they plant. We plan to register all plantings for this initiative for future generations.

If you wish to participate in this celebration of new life please contact us


Forest Friends Kenya Logo


We are happy to announce the creation of Forest Friends Kenya. The six major objectives of our Kenya branch are:

1. Afforestation by way of Tree Food Crops
2. Conservation of Forest Tree Herbal Banks
3. Community woodlot Biomass Energy
4. Investment in Nature Based Enterprises
5. Capacity building training workshops for stakeholders
6. Capacity building of Community Forest Associations

We look forward to many years of fruitful collaboration. Please follow the link below for more info on the Forest Friends Kenya strategy.

Forest Friends Kenya Strategy Doc


FFI Culture event update ...

A few people have been asking what connection did Brendan Behan have to do with trees. 

Well he had the most wonderful connection to our native Irish language which he loved more than anything else and expressed his poems and plays in that language. Also the Celts developed the Ogham alphabet where each letter was a tree and when they talked they were talking trees. 

This is such an important part of our culture and it is appropriate that we celebrated the works of Brendan Behan on culture night 2018.

Our language in all its richness was stolen from us and was appreciated by many who have studied it. So, for example the playwright Johnathan Millington Synge was so impressed by the native speakers that he went and learned the language so that he could experience it. He said that listening to the native speakers was like listening  not to language but to song.

Claddagh Design have created a beautiful overview of the ancient Irish alphabet Ogham which you can read at their website here

We have written here on forestfriends.ie in the past on the close links between Irish heritage, tree names and Ogham. This topic is also covered in some detail over at The Celtic Journey.

A fascinating subject we may return to in more detail here at forestfriends.ie.


Brendan Behan


The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.


Peace Forest Ireland

Remembering our Project Phase Launch - May 15th 2017.

In 2017, a new vision for a world peace tree centre for Ireland was launched involving a partnership between Forest Friends Ireland and Rotary Dublin North at the Mansion House in Dublin. Phase two of the Peace Forest Ireland project was launched by Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha at 12.45pm in the appropriately named Oak Room.

Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha pointed out that phase two of the project involves a “new vision for a World Peace Tree Centre for Ireland involving a partnership between Forest Friends Ireland and Rotary.

John Haughton founder of the Peace Forest Ireland Project and chairperson of Cairde na Coille/ Forest Friends Ireland stated: “Since our original launch of phase one in 2013, we are now discussing an ambitious plan to create an international Peace Centre based on the international Auroville Peace Centre located in Tamil Nadu, in the south-east of India, which we recently visited. This would involve creating a new world peace centre in Ireland’s border counties, embracing the ethos and ecology of tree and forest. Auroville is a proven model which can be easily replicated given sufficient lands and finance and the involvement of the private and public sectors”.

During the launch there were presentations from James Comiskey, Landscape Designer and partner of the project. James is ‘currently Ireland's youngest person to hold an award from the Royal Horticultural Society,’. He gave a motivating presentation on the topic of the Peace Forest Ireland project, its historic perspective, achievements to date and ideas for the future.

Next was Lycia Trouton, a Conceptual Artist from Belfast now living in Canada with a presentation on peace-building, and on her own project"The Linen Memorial".

Also on the day, there were speeches from Rotarians, Monica Robertson (DGE), Jack Kinane (President of North Dublin Rotary) and Jason O'Connell (President of Raheny Rotary).

Following the launch, a native Irish Hazelnut tree was planted in Griffith Park, Drumcondra in memory of Stephen Coyne founder member of Forest Friends who passed away recently and Liga, partner of Andrew Jordan, Forest Friends director who recently lost her life tragically while attending a healing event in Kerala, India. The tree was donated by Sylvia Maxwell and the plot of parkland was kindly offered by Dublin City Council.


Peace Forest Ireland Project 2017

The Peace Forest Ireland began as a concept and was quickly transformed into a project year on year. Now it is gathering momentum. You can read our 2017 progress report and future plans in our November Project Report [pdf].


Ireland 2040

The National Planning Framework (NPF) [ link -> ] is a national plan to guide and shape the spatial development of Ireland. The plan seeks to provide a spatial expression of government policy and provide a decision making framework from which other plans will follow.

This is an important development and Forest Friends Ireland have made a submission regarding several aspects of the plan. You can read the FFI submission from this link.


Drumcondra Tree Huggers

Donna Cooney joined by a family of  tree huggers from Drumcondra getting some Tree Hugging practice ...

Forest Friends Ireland are held a "tree hugging" event at the Arts and Business Campus, Drumcondra, on Culture night 22nd. September 2017 in remembrance of the very first tree huggers, The Chipkos.

The word Chipko, is a Hindi word meaning "hugging", is used to describe a movement whereby  local village women literally "hugged" trees, interposing their bodies between the trees and the loggers to prevent them being cut down. It has come to describe an important historical event in the fight to secure women's rights, in the process of local community development through forest and environmental protection.

Khejarli or Khejadli is a village in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, India, 26 kilometres (16 miles) south-east of the city of Jodhpur. The name of the town is derived from Khejri (Prosopis cineraria) trees that were once abundant in the village. In this village 363 Bishnois sacrificed their lives in 1731 AD while protecting green Khejri that are considered sacred by the community. The incident was a forebear of the 20th-century Chipko Movement.

In September 1731, a royal party led by Giridhar Bhandari, a minister of the maharajah of Marwar, arrived at the village with the intention of felling some Khejri trees that were sacred to the villagers. The trees were to be used in the construction of a new palace. A local woman called Amrita Devi Bishnoi protested against the tree-felling because such acts were prohibited by the Bishnoi's religion.   She and her three daughters (Asu, Ratni and Bhagu) were then killed by the party. News of the deaths spread and summons to a meeting were sent to 83 Bishnoi villages. Villagers of all ages began hugging the trees that were intended to be cut and were killed. The development shocked the tree-felling party. The group left for Jodhpur with their mission unfulfilled and the Maharaja Abhai Singh of Marwar subsequently ordered that no more trees should be felled. 363 Bishnois laid down their lives for their trees.

The Chipko Movement spread from one end of the Himalayas in Kashmir to the other in Arunachal Pradesh, with the aim of affecting the Government's forest policy by insisting on maintenance of the traditional status quo in the Himalayan and other forest regions of India.  It was based on Gandhian peaceful methods.


Forest Friends Ireland are Ireland's premier tree organisation in the Republic of Ireland

www.forestfriends.ie www.facebook.com/forestfriendsireland

Forest Friends welcome volunteers to help with their biodiversity tree projects


1916 Leader Tom Clarke House Dublin

This is the photo of our heritage week event. These were the people who attended the heritage walk. The photo is taken at the house of Tom Clarke who was one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising.

His house is one of only two remaining of the houses of the leaders. In the photo the man in the blue t-shirt is reading the 1916 Proclamation.


Viewer Warning ...

The video below has some imagery of deformity resulting from the of the use of the herbicide "agent orange" which some viewers may find disturbing.

FFI Forest Fix


Tynan Village – Co. Armagh border village
Jonathan Ellis Armagh Banbridge Craigavon Parks Manager and staff, John Haughton Peace Forest Ireland, Councillor Freda Donnelly (DUP), Councillor Sam Nicholson (UUP). 

Update April 24th 2017

The Peace Forest Ireland Project involves the creation of a peace forest stretching all along the border counties north and south Ireland. It involves bringing communities together to better understand the cultural diversity and biodiversity of the various communities.

Today work on the tree planting is progressing with the welcome participation of the localcommunity. Our photographs show Rev. Matthew Hagan who is Chairperson of the Tynan Development Committee, along with residents, pupils and staff of St. Josephs Primary School and Churchill Primary School Caledon and the supporting expertise of Jonathan Ellis, Armagh Banbridge Craigavon parks manager.


Irish Woodland

Peace Forest Ireland Project 2017 - Update


Today the first 1000 trees (of a total planting of 2,000) will be planted at the old Forkhill Barracks Forkhill following a reception to launch the project at 11.30am. These trees are sponsored by the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland.

Old Forkhill is a former British military installation that is in the process of being converted for community use.

Enquiries: Darren Rice E - darren.rice@nmandd.org| T - 028 308 28592 | M - 07713 089225 Landscape Partnership Manager

The organisers of this tree planting event are

Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Scheme 

Comhairle an Iúir agus Mhúrn

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Crossmaglen Community Centre,

O’Fiaich Square 


BT35 9HG

MARCH 9th and Friday 10th

Rebel Hill Castle Lake Forest Demesne, Bailieborough, Cavan Co. Cavan, Ireland.

2,000 trees sponsored by Coillte will be planted consisting of 1,000 Oak, 500 Larch, 200 Scots Pine, 200 Hazel and 100 Holly. They will be planted on a 1.3ha plot.

Planting organised by the Bailileborough Development Association will start at 12noon on Thursday 9th and finish at 6pm on Friday 10th (Finishing at 6 p.m. both evenings).

Check here on Google Maps ...

Enquiries: Lee Mc Donnell 086-794-9739



The Peace Forest Ireland Project 2017 contains two modules, the planting of 2,000 peace trees in the Castle Lake Demesne Bailiebourough, Co. Cavan and the planting of 2,000peace trees in Armagh Banbridge Craigavon, giving a total of 4,000 trees to be planted in remembrance of all those who lost their lives in the Northern Ireland conflict. 

The trees for the former are being sponsored by Coillte and in the case of the latter, the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland.

The Peace Forest Ireland Project is envisaged as one of strengthening the Peace process and the principles based on the Good Friday Agreement. The project was launched in Derry/Londonderry in May 2014 and pilot tree plantings have taken place in each of the border counties since then. 

The idea is to continue various modules of the project on suitable sites, in different border counties over the widest time span.


National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021

Forest Friends Ireland welcomes the document entitled “National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021, which goes under the above title and notes its contents which have a bearing on forestry biodiversity.

While we find it useful as a referencing document which could lead to a comprehensive scoping report, we do not see it in its present form as a plan in the case of the biodiversity of Forestry in Ireland.  However there are certain parameters which together with others not identified within which a plan could evolve. We find that the document is unnecessarily repetitive, utilising at times excessive jargon and tends to be aspirational rather than task based.

With regard to Forestry a biodiversity plan should set out a number of possible approaches optimising biodiversity and should address all the parameter, however briefly, or in summary, including the following. 

Our submission identifies issues which we feel a biodiversity plan should deal with comprehensively.

You can view the full text here ....



FFI Gardening

Forest Friends can now get your garden ready for summer -  plants, herbs, flowers and more. 
You can find us in front of the 
Art of Business Campus, 40 Lower Drumcondra Road
everyday between 1pm and 2pm. 


Peace Forest Ireland Project


The Peace Forest Ireland Project involves the creation of a peace forest stretching all along the border counties north and south Ireland. It involves bringing communities together to better understand the cultural diversity and biodiversity of the various communities.

The project also envisages the creation of a  Centre of Forest Biodiversity, based on best practice in Horticulture  Silva culture and Permaculture; a centre for environmental education, incorporating visitor centre, existing natural woodlands, new tree planting, using 100% native species, commemorative trees, woodcrafts, maximising community involvement; Ogham groves based on the Celtic tree alphabet; tree nursery. The centre envisaged will be held in trust in perpetuity for community benefit.

This Woodland Cross-border Peace Project with Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland will promote forest skills, a culture of trees and forests, capacity building and community development.  The project is not designed to interfere with the structures and practice of farming as existing but to be complementary to them. It is intended to enhance rather than damage local landscapes.

To assist the design of the project and its planning the elements incorporated in the Auroville Peace Centre in Tamil Nadu India will be examined. The 2016  module of the Peace Forest Project involves the planting of 4,000 commemorative peace trees  in memory of all those who lost their lives in the Northern Ireland conflict- This will be done by a process of  liaising with all groups in the border counties in order to involve them in the project.

To assist the process of planning and development of this module of the peace forest, advertising will be placed in the local newspapers in each Border County explaining what are envisaged and inviting ideas, and promoting involvement and support. Partnerships will be encouraged to assist all aspects and stages of the peace forest project, and to assist in the sourcing of suitable sites.

The overall project is ongoing in short, medium and long terms. The potential of the project is very significant in terms of climate change. The Tree Council or Ireland has donated five hundred trees, and the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland is making 2,000 trees available.

Thank you for supporting Forest Friends Ireland.

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Peace Forest Ireland Project Report 2017

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Peace Forest Ireland Project 2017 - Update

Posted by admin on 05/16/19, 08:04:32


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