External review of the forestry licence approval process published

 

Minister of State Andrew Doyle, T.D., has received the Review of Approval Processes for Afforestation in Ireland.

The review was carried out by Mr James Mackinnon, CBE, former Senior Planner with the Scottish Government and was commissioned by Minister Doyle, following a similar review in Scotland carried out by M. Mackinnon.

The Minister said: “The Government has set some ambitious targets for the forestry sector not least in the Climate Action Plan and I commissioned this review to ensure that collectively we are fit for purpose to help deliver these targets. I would like to thank James for his comprehensive report and for delivering it in such a timely fashion. I know that he met with a long list of industry stakeholders, the Environmental Pillar, Department staff and other interest groups during his time in Ireland. I am grateful for their time and constructive input which will no doubt add import and relevance of these findings.”

Mr Mackinnon was commissioned to examine the process for approving afforestation proposals and the linked issues for other forestry related operations. His remit was to make recommendations on issues identified which would improve the process, taking account of his experience with the Scottish forestry system.

Minister Doyle added: “I would encourage all stakeholders to take the time to study this report carefully and I and my Department will do likewise. It contains a number of important recommendations on which we all need to reflect. Implementation of the Plan is now a priority. I propose to publish a detailed implementation plan early in January next after discussions with stakeholders on the Forestry Programme Implementation group."