The first interim report on the implementation of Project Woodland has called on the Department to review the need for farmers to obtain legal consent for thinning and constructing forest roads.
The report updates stakeholders in the forestry sector on the progress of the group, which has met nine times since its establishment.
A number of recommendations on improving legislation relating to forestry are made within the report. These recommendations particularly concern the ongoing licencing backlog.
“None of this work is easy and there are no silver bullets, but the collaboration between stakeholders is obvious form the report,” Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett said.
Also recommended for review was the system for assessing sites’ ecological impact, which the report suggests could be streamlined.
“I am pleased to receive this interim report and to publish it for the information of the public and all stakeholders. Transparency and open communication is central to the implementation of this project,” the Minister added.
Two more interim reports are due to be issued by the Project Woodland group before the end of the year.
Hackett continued: “The project board for Project Woodland has met on nine occasions since its establishment in February 2021 and the working groups continue to meet intensively also. It’s important to capture all of their outputs and monitor closely the progress being made and any future recommendations.”
The report can be found in full here.