A “deliberative dialogue” on forestry, similar to a citizen’s assembly, will be held next week on 10 and 14 May to develop a new strategy for trees and forests, says Minister of State for land use and biodiversity in the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett.

The two-day event is part of the work of Project Woodland and will involve engagement with 99 citizens to learn about forestry and to tease out participants’ views on forests and forestry.

Discussions will focus on how forests affect our climate, biodiversity, water quality, economy and wider society.

Broadcaster Helen Carroll, best known as a presenter on RTÉ’s Ear to the Ground, will chair proceedings.

Speaking ahead of the dialogue event, Minister Hackett said: “We are working on a new strategy for how we plant and manage trees for a generation to come.

"We want to make sure we establish forests in the right place and for the right reasons, so that we maximise the benefits trees bring to our climate, biodiversity and water quality, as well as our citizens and our economy."

Unique opportunity

“This event offers a unique opportunity to gain insights from and generate discussion among our citizens on the best way forward for forestry. I look forward to seeing the results of the deliberative dialogue.”

Helen Carroll said she hopes to “chair a fact-based and insightful discussion on what the future holds for forestry”.

“Many will be familiar with various citizens’ assembly events that have been held in the past; this will be similar in many ways,” she said.

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