Written answers

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Forestry Sector

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

216. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of proposals in relation to matters (details supplied) regarding forestry licensing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15128/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The regulatory review of the licensing process is an important initiative which is being carried out by a consultant with legal and environmental expertise under the auspices of Project Woodland. As you may be aware Project Woodland was launched in February, 2021 and aims to improve the forestry licensing system as well as developing a shared vision for woodland creation in Ireland.

The regulatory review is assessing the existing statutory framework for the licensing of forestry activities in relation to environmental and public participation obligations in order that practical advice can be provided to the Department on how to work more efficiently within the existing legal framework. The review is also considering the issue of a single consent system and statutory timelines. That report is currently being finalised and will be published in a number of weeks.

As regards the licensing system we have set out our priorities for 2022 in our Licensing Plan which may be found at www.gov.ie/en/publication/forestry-policy-and-strategy/#forestry-licensing-plan-2022. The Plan contains a target of 5,250 licences issues, which is a year-on-year increase of 30% on 2021 and our output to date, as shown on the weekly forestry dashboard, is in line with that target.

Along with Minister of State Pippa Hackett, who has overall responsibility for the sector, my priority this year is to deliver on the ambition outlined in the Licensing Plan and I would ask that all who are interested in forestry play their part in communicating the multi-functional benefits of forestry and especially to focus on encouraging planting as a complementary activity to farming.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.