Moving toward deep sustainability: people gathering for Ireland’s forests this weekend

“Scientists may try to tell us what is at stake when we burn rainforests and fossil fuels, dump toxic wastes in air, soil, sea, and use chemical that devour our planet’s protective ozone shield. But their warnings are hard to heed. For ours is an Industrial Growth Society…for if there is to be a livable world for those who come after us, it will be because we have managed to make the transition from the Industrial Growth Society to a Life-sustaining Society…While the agricultural revolution took centuries, and the industrial revolution took generations, this ecological revolution has to happen within a matter of a few years. It has to be more comprehensive-involving not only the political economy, but the habits and values that foster it.”

Joanna Macy. Coming back to Life: practices to reconnect our lives, our world 1998

Its been an intense few weeks with my work recently; my last post detailed my political work on ecocide (a key term in my research), then last week saw me in Bristol for the launch of Stories of the Great Turning (stories of projects, art inspired by the work of ecophilosopher/activist Joanna Macy), a new book detailing ordinary people just getting on and doing amazing projects of all sorts in response to the challenges we are witnessing on our earth. It has been a particulary rich time to reflect on how actions, politics, arts, individual and collective works can all inspire and enact change.

However, the weekend coming up is going to be special too – a whole weekend of being with people, leading foresters, scouts, forest activists and forest lovers, musicians, actors, families, all thinking about the future of Ireland’s forests.

Pro Silva Ireland Sat April 27, 2013 Open Forest Day: AFI site at a Coillte property in Rahin, Co. KildareI will be attending ProSilva Ireland’s open forest study day in a Coillte wood in Co. Kildare tomorrow. I’m on the committee so its been great to help spread the word about this new method of permanent, non clearfell forestry. I’m delighted too that Dr Sophie Bertin will be joining us from France and she and Phil Morgan, President of ProSilva Europe will be leading the day. This is a public event, so all are welcome. Directions and more info here

Then on Sunday I will be travelling to Co. Wicklow to join a large national gathering at Avondale house and forests.

A walk in the woods is to take place in Avondale Forest Park, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow on Sunday 28 April 2013 to protest against the Government’s plans to sell the harvesting rights of the public forests.

Musicians Christy Moore and Paddy Casey, Actors Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack, politicians Richard Boyd Barrett, Catherine Murphy and Fiach McChongail and others from various sectors, are to take part in the event which will include music, readings and poetry.

The walk, which is to start at 1 pm, is being organised by the recently established Natural Resources Protection Alliance and the Woodland League. The event organisers intend to plant a native Irish Oak to commemorate Charles Stuart Parnell – who was known as the “Great Oak of Avondale”.’ (Irish Times, Mon 22 April).

Directions: On the N11 – exit Junction 17 for Rathdrum, take R752 to Rathdrum and L2149 to Avondale House and Forest Park.

Avondale is 1.5miles south of Rathdrum.

Quite a number of Green Party people will also be attending too; as for the last 4 years much work has been achieved by the Green Party with its comprehensive new Forest Policy (2012).

Here is Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green Party, recently talking about the key point in Green Party Forest policy, that Ireland needs to move away from industrial forestry, towards permanent, non-clearfell, continuous cover forestry management, for long term economic, and ecological resilience, and how this new vision and practice of forestry will bring back and revitalise Ireland’s forest cultural heritage.

Moving away from industrial growth society practices is being examined by many people looking at the state of the earth today. Its why I put Jeremy Iron’s new film trailer above. Anyway, hope some of you can join me – I’ll be the one trying to get a photo with Jeremy 😉

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