Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
448. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the terms of reference for the recently announced independent review into forestry in County Leitrim report have been made public; if community groups can make suggestions regarding the terms of reference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9060/19]
The Terms of Reference for the independent study on forestry in Co. Leitrim have been finalised and were published by my Department on Friday 15 February. I am satisfied that these Terms of Reference are more than sufficiently broad to cover the views of all stakeholders and the priority now must be to get on with completing the analysis and the study. I would therefore encourage all stakeholders to engage with the study coordinators in UCD.
As previously announced, the Terms of Reference for the study are:
1. to assess the social impacts of forestry in County Leitrim including inter aliathe attitudes to forestry of people living there. This assessment will be based on consultations locally with farmers, non-farmers and other interested parties;
2. to assess the economic impact of forestry for County Leitrim including total employment supported by the sector;
3. to assess the impact of forestry on farm incomes relative to other types of farming;
4. to consider the non-timber outputs of forestry in County Leitrim;
5. to assess the current state of environmental regulation of forestry in County Leitrim.
As public consultation will be a key feature, all interested parties, including community groups, are encouraged to offer input. A dedicated website has been developed for this purpose and is available at .