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Intro to 'the local project' community forest Jan Alexander

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Uploaded on Feb 28, 2008

Documenting a community forest project in Co. Leitrim, Ireland

In March 2005 I initiated a proposal which was jointly supported by Crann (the Irish word for 'tree' and also a Irish Tree NGO) and The Dock (County Leitrim Art Gallery).

In this project and exhibition, I brought together the voices and images of local people who volunteered to plant broadleaf woodlands 10-12 years ago in an innovative Crann Project in South Leitrim, Ireland.

Ireland's native forest cover is minimal, forests were lost many centuries ago. Commercial forestry is large scale business consisting predominantly of non-native conifer monocultures.

The Crann 'local project' was an opportunity for people to act at a local level in addressing issues about international deforestation amidst Ireland's almost total dependence on imported tropical woods. The project is an example of a community forestry approach, where sustainable methods are employed, both for ecological and economic long term benefits.

The film and photographs documented the beginnings of a new local wood culture in County Leitrim that is suitable for transferring to other areas in Ireland.

Jan Alexander, Crann founder is now Chairperson of ProSilva ('for forests') Ireland, see www.prosilvaireland.org. Jan for the past 6 years has been part of this EU organisation of leading foresters who are committed to sustainable, real 'continuous cover forestry', managed using 'close to nature' principles.

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