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Geological Survey, Ireland and Coillte Sign Memorandum of Understanding

13th March 2017

The Geological Survey of Ireland and Coillte cemented their successful working relationship through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement was signed today by Bill Stanley, Director of Strategy at Coillte Forest and Koen Verbruggen, Director of GSI at the Geological Survey's offices, Dublin today Monday, 13th March 2017.


On signing the MOU, Koen Verbruggen said: "A highly successful collaborative partnership between our organisations has already been established through joint data acquisition projects. This agreement acknowledges and reinforces the multiple benefits of working together on such projects, and paves the way for the future commitments on areas of common interest, including mapping and surveying, land use planning, application of UAV technology and business development."


Mr Stanley stated that: "Coillte is delighted to be partnering with the GSI on this exciting, leading edge project. Not only has our collaboration proven to be of significant mutual benefit to us both, but in advancing knowledge of some of Ireland's key natural resources the gains extend wider still."


The Geological Survey Ireland and Coillte have been collaborating on a pilot project to acquire Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data over the last 2 years.  The Geological Survey is using LiDAR data to map karst features for groundwater resource and groundwater protection maps, as well as to enhance geological interpretation and geohazard (potential collapses, areas of instability) assessments.


Coillte manages almost 450,000 hectares of Ireland's state-owned forests and is charged with protecting and enhancing this significant national resource whilst ensuring that it is used productively. Point cloud data, produced from LiDAR, enables Coillte to estimate key forest parameters to unprecedented detail, providing greater knowledge of timber resources within its estate and improving the mapping of its forests.


Although each organisation's products are very different, mapping and assessments using appropriate remote sensing data, such as LiDAR, can be undertaken more efficiently and cost effectively than by employing more conventional, field based surveys. By collaborating, there are the additional benefits of shared aircraft mobilisation cost, management time and technical expertise, as well as reducing the likelihood of duplication of data acquisition for the same area.  The successful pilot project is a potential platform for collaboration with other organisations who are interested in LiDAR data acquisition, which is currently been explored.


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Notes to Editors


The GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF IRELAND (GSI), founded in 1845, is the National Earth Science Agency. It is responsible for providing geological advice and information, and for the acquisition of data for this purpose.


GSI produces a range of products including maps, reports and databases and acts as a knowledge centre and project partner in all aspects of Irish geology. It is a division of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) and has about 70 multi-disciplinary staff.


Coillte is a state-owned company operating in forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and wood-based panels.


Coillte is the custodian of 7% of the Ireland's land. Its forests and land now extend to over 440,000 hectares. Since its establishment in 1988, Coillte has continued to care for and develop its estate and businesses while being firmly focused on maximizing the financial and social potential of these natural resources in a sustainable way.


For further information please contact Koen Verbruggen, Director, Geological Survey of Ireland (01 6788264), or Liam Malone, Head of Resource Planning, Coillte (01 2015204).

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