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Doyle Welcomes Conference on Role of Irish Forestry in the Bioeconomy

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, Andrew Doyle, T.D., today officially opened the National Forestry Conference and welcomed its discussion on the role of Irish Forestry in the bioeconomy.  The Conference, organised by the Wood Marketing Federation and the Society of Irish Foresters, was held in Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield, Co. Meath.

Opening the Conference, the Minister of State noted the relevancy and timeliness of its theme ‘Forestry as a Central Pillar in the Bioeconomy’ in view of the recent publication by the Department of the Taoiseach of the first National Policy Statement on the Bioeconomy. He added “The Forest Sector is at the forefront of the emerging Irish Bioeconomy. It is also a major contributor to climate change mitigation. We must continue this momentum, advancing our sector through the use of new wood products and building systems, as well as the rapidly emerging use of wood fibre across a range of innovative products. It is through such advancement that the Forestry Sector will continue to make a positive contribution to increased resilience, environmental sustainability, decarbonising our economy. It will also of course have the added benefit of stimulating rural employment and development”.

He also referred to the report by the COFORD Council Bioeconomy Working Group, on “Growing the Irish Forest Bioeconomy”which “noted that the gross output of the Irish forest sector is set to double by 2035 against a backdrop of increasing carbon constraint and this creates a tremendous opportunity. It outlined an exciting vision of a thriving, export-led, forest bioeconomy which creates sustainable jobs in rural Ireland and supports national land-use, carbon reduction and climate adaption objectives.”

Referring to the actions being taken by his Department in relation to the development of the Irish forest sector, he commented “I have spoken often of the climate benefits of planting trees and forests, and this is one of the drivers for the Forestry Programme that my Department is funding to 2020. To further incentivise afforestation, my Department published a Mid-Term Review of the Programme earlier this year, the outcome of which was some significant rate increases in the afforestation schemes. Last week I chaired the inaugural meeting of the Forestry Programme Implementation Group. This is a group of key stakeholders across the sector which I have established to drive the implementation of the Mid-Term review”. He reiterated that the implementation of the Government’s Forestry Programme to 2020 remains a top priority, adding that afforestation is recognised as one of the most important and cost-effective mitigation measures across the Irish land sector.

The Minister concluded by thanking the Wood Marketing Federation and the Society of Irish Foresters for organising the event and also thanked his own Department, Teagasc, the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and the Irish Farmers Journal who supported the event.

 

ENDS

Date Released: 30 May 2018