The two main issues facing the forestry and forest products sector in Ireland are achieving a viable afforestation programme and increasing wood mobilisation. Both are interlinked, especially in ensuring the economic and social benefits of forestry, and also achieving targets in climate change mitigation.

Forestry is a multi-purpose resource, so it also has to achieve a range of wood and non-wood benefits including biodiversity, recreation, water quality and landscape enhancement. Its key role is in climate change mitigation, which is why the outgoing Government proposed an annual afforestation programme of 8,000ha.