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Caithness News Bulletins June 2003

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Bio-Diversity Bio-diversity Action Plan Environmental Groups


25 JUNE 2003

The Highland Council will host a one day seminar "Sustainable Forestry Biomass and Biodiversity" on Wednesday 25 June at the Portland Arms Hotel, Lybster, Caithness.

Expert speakers have been invited from Forward Scotland, Highland Birchwoods, Nordic Enterprise Trust, AMEC, Integrated Energy Utilities Limited, SVS Composting, Forest Enterprise, National Farmers Union, British Geological Survey, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and the North Highland Leader+ Partnership. They will share their knowledge on the new technologies and business potential identified for sustainable forestry/biodiversity and biomass utilising industries and processes.

Caithness, which with Sutherland shares the North Highland Forest, has a considerable sustainable forestry production potential. Projects currently under consideration include wood chipping for fuel, for heat and electricity production.

It is believed that there could be much greater use made of the forest potential in the future, both in new technologies which could be used, and in an extensive harvesting and replanting programme, which could encourage new footpaths and walkways to be developed for tourism, and a wider range of species to be planted to provide a more diverse and sustainable environment.

There is also a potential for sustainable use of organic wastes and energy crops, which may provide new sources of economic growth for the farming and land using/land owning communities. The European Commission is next year due to propose EU-wide biowaste rules (ED 04/10/02). The bill sets a target of 35% biological treatment of organic wastes from households, restaurants, catering centres and shops, and the food industry. The target is non-binding and has no target date, but should be reviewed in 2010.

Caithness Project Officer, Jean Boyle said: "We look forward to this meeting and to the opportunity it brings for all participants to learn of the potential we can achieve. We need to review our strategies for the future to create a sustainable and harmonious environment by better understanding of our landscape and the natural resources we have, and by using new technologies to process the biomass around us. This will allow us to bring new prosperity and jobs to Caithness."

The Seminar is open to organisations/agencies involved with economic development, small businesses, local forestry groups, community woodland groups, community organisations, land owners, farmers and crofters.

Bookings should be made through The Highland Council, contacts:
Elizabeth Marshall, Caithness Area Development Manager,
Jean Boyle, Caithness Project
Officer, Planning and Development Service,
The Highland Council, 34A High Street, Wick, Caithness KW1 4BS
Tel: 01955 605858 Fax: 01955 602444
Email: elizabeth.marshall@highland.gov.uk  or jean.boyle@highland.gov.uk

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