Launch of a public consultation on the future of forests in Ireland
The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) today (Wednesday 16th March) launched a public consultation inquiry into the future of forests in Ireland.
This is the final phase in the development of a new forestry strategy for Ireland.
The consultation is part of Project Woodland’s work to develop a new strategy for trees and forests in Ireland.
All citizens, private organisations, public authorities, communities and stakeholders are invited to contribute.
Forest Futures Survey
The online questionnaire is available here starting today Wednesday March 16th and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
The survey has sections on why forests are planted, where they are planted, types of trees planted and how forests are managed. Respondents can also provide additional information to the questionnaire.
The consultation will run for six weeks from today until April 27, 2022.
Minister of State for Biodiversity and Land Use, Senator Pippa Hackett said:
“Trees are a vital part of our natural heritage and make an important contribution to our rural economy.
“The shared forest vision and forest strategy we are developing will impact generations to come. I encourage the public and stakeholders to participate in the survey and make their views known.
“Through Project Woodland, we engage with the public, local communities and stakeholders in many ways; this consultation is a crucial next step in the development of a new forest strategy.
The information provided by respondents will be used to inform the final shared national vision for trees and forests in Ireland and in the development of a new Irish Forest Strategy.
Contributions received will be published on the DAFM website after the closing date.
The Minister of State established Project Woodland in February 2021 to ensure the current backlog of licenses is resolved and new impetus is given to the creation of forests in Ireland.
This project involves a review and refresh of processes and procedures and includes the participation of external stakeholders to provide an independent perspective.
The structure of Project Woodland consists of a project board, a project manager and four working groups which are responsible for the following main areas:
- Reduce the backlog of licenses;
- A shared national approach (to work on a shared national vision for the future of trees and forests in Ireland and a new forestry strategy);
- Organizational development and communications;
- Process improvement (to review forest licensing procedures).
The development of a new forestry strategy is a key commitment for Project Woodland and is expected to be released in 2022.
The department will also develop a new forestry program. The forestry program and forestry strategy will be reviewed for strategic environmental assessment and appropriate assessment and published plans will be subject to statutory consultation.