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Message From Minister of State Killeen

Forestry Review

A Message from Mr. Tony Killeen TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry:

 

The forestry sector is a key element of the Irish economy and has the potential to contribute significantly to Ireland's economic development.  Last October, the Government published a Renewed Programme for Government, which contained many positive aspects in relation to Forestry including a commitment to increase annual planting to 10,000 hectares.  We also committed to "review state forestry policy to take account of its critical role in relation to climate change and its importance to construction, bio-energy, bio-diversity and its potential to deliver long-term employment in other downstream industries e.g. eco-tourism, furniture, crafts etc. The review will include the role of Coillte and its functions and operations.  It will also assess the effectiveness of current forestry grant schemes and make recommendations on how best to deliver supports in the future".

To organise the work of the review I have formed three separate groups,

(1) an overarching group with wide representation dealing with national forestry policy,
(2) an interdepartmental  group dealing with the funding of forestry schemes and finally
(3) an interdepartmental group with Coillte representation dealing exclusively with the role, functions and operations of Coillte.

I believe that consultation with stakeholders is an essential part of this review process in order to obtain views on what policies you believe will best enhance the future development of forestry and best address the issues above. I therefore invite you or your organisation to submit your views on such issues or, indeed, on any aspect of forestry policy in which you have an interest.  I would like to encourage you to avail of this opportunity as the consideration of your views will add to the review process and it is in all of our interests to work together for the sustainable development of forestry.

To assist you in your deliberations, background papers on Irish Forestry and on Coillte are attached to this website. Submissions should be sent by email to forestryreview@agriculture.gov.ie or by post to "Submission on Forestry Review", Forest Service, Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford. Please note that submissions received will be made publicly available on this website.

I would also like to remind you that the Department is engaged in a "2020 Strategy" consultation process for the agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry sectors.  The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food announced the commencement of this particular process in February 2010 and further details are also available on this Department's website. Submissions for this process are welcome and should be addressed to 2020@agriculture.gov.ie before 31 March 2010. Similarly, submissions received will be made publicly available on this website.

I would encourage forest owners and all other interested parties to avail of this opportunity to contribute to the strategic development of the forestry sector.