What are the Irish Forestry Funds and where are they based?
Launched in 1997, the Irish Forestry Funds have grown in number to 30 separate companies. The purpose of the Irish Forestry Funds is to allow the average investor to gain the benefits of forestry as a form of investment and to benefit from the generous government grants that are available in Ireland along with the tax benefits that forestry enjoys.
Over the years there have been three different types of Irish Forestry Funds:
- The Irish Forestry Funds – these were thirty year forestry funds enabling investors benefit from the returns gained from a full forest rotation
- The Forestry Investment Plans – these were ten year forestry funds (all of which have now matured) that were structured to take advantage of the emerging semi-mature forestry market (this is defined as forestry that is in mid-rotation, for example 10-15 year old forestry). The Forestry Investment Plans continued to acquire approximately 50% bare land which was then planted utilising the generous forestry grants available.
- The Forestry Growth Plans – these are twelve year forestry funds specifically designed to take full advantage of the benefits of investing into semi-mature forestry.
While the names have changed down the years they are collectively referred to as “The Irish Forestry Funds”.
The first of the Irish Forestry Funds was launched in 1997 and to-date thirty Irish Forestry Funds have been launched and three of these funds have now matured
The Irish Forestry Funds are a unique brand and have successfully increased retail investor awareness of Irish forestry as a safe, secure and tangible investment.
Irish Forestry Investment
Prior to the establishment of the Irish Forestry Funds, modest investors were unable to avail of the tax efficiencies, EU and Irish government grants and premia income available to farmers and wealthy individuals.
The Irish Forestry Funds enabled investors to make a minimum investment of €750 and reap these benefits. To-date, in excess of 18,500 individuals have done just that.
Why is Forestry Investment important in Ireland?
Ireland is the least afforestated country in the EU, with only 11% of the land mass under forest cover compared to an EU average of 42%. Additionally, trees grow up to three times faster in Ireland than elsewhere in Europe.
The Irish government is committed to the forestry sector and is directing its resources (through generous forestry grants and premia) to promote an increase in forest planting to help secure the thousands of existing jobs in the sector (from the nurseries growing saplings to the timber processing companies) and to promote thousands of new additional jobs in the sector from the projected increase in the national forest planting levels.
How does Veon fit into this?
Veon Ltd is the Forestry Asset Manager to the Irish Forestry Funds. Veon provides forest management (including oversight of forestry and land acquisitions), administrative and other support services to the Irish Forestry Funds.
Ireland’s CO2 emissions per capita are among the highest in the world and we need to increase the level of forest cover dramatically to help counter the effects of increasing pollution emissions. Under the Kyoto Agreement, Ireland is committed to CO2 emission levels of 12% above 1990 levels by 2012, or just under 54 million tonnes of gases. At present, Ireland has already exceeded its agreed emission levels.
Forests are internationally recognised as a major factor in the capture and storage of carbon dioxide.