The 100 Million Trees Project is a new national initiative developed by brothers, Richard and David Mulcahy, which aims to see the planting of 100 million native Irish trees across the island of Ireland throughout the next decade, as a community-driven initiative to reverse the immense environmental damage caused by the reduction of forests worldwide and the loss of huge areas of biodiversity.
The project’s ambitious aim will be achieved through densely planting between 500 and 2,500 native Irish trees at a time across small areas of land using ‘the Miyawaki method’. Named after Japanese Botanist, Professor Akira Miyawaki, who developed the technique in the 1970s as a means to restore degraded land, the Miyawaki Method of overplanting trees, has been successful in creating over 1,700 forests worldwide.
By planting excess trees together these grow 10 times faster, 30 times denser, create an area 100 times more biodiverse and most importantly create a very rapid carbon sink. This inexpensive approach requires significantly smaller planting areas and can be carried out on unused or fallow land across Ireland. Dense areas of afforestation can also actually play a role in reducing the impact of forest fires, while at the same time provide excellent areas of biodiversity.
The project will require an estimated 10,000 acres of land from as little as .01 of an acre to .25 of an acre from amongst Ireland’s entire stock of 20.8 million acres and because the areas required for planting are small – covering approximately between one and two basketball courts – areas of native forest can also be planted on portions of dormant Council land, Corporate sites and farmland.
The organisers behind The 100 Million Trees Project team point out that offering areas of unused land from within in local communities, landowners, councils or farms, is a relatively small price to pay in exchange for the dividend that comes in return – a carbon sequestration equivalent of 1,184,625 tonnes of CO2 every year.
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