Ireland’s “Project Woodland” Strategy Draws Ire From Irish Tree Farmers

Jason Fleming, the Irish Farmer’s Association’s (IFA) national forestry chairperson, continues to express his frustration with the Project Woodland strategy, which the Government of Ireland launched in February of 2021. The independent Project Woodland Regulatory Review Report was to look into the forestry regulatory system in Ireland and explore whether improvements could be made to the licensing system, while working within the parameters of Irish and EU environmental laws, as well as increase the number of trees being planted.

Speaking on Thursday (8-25-22), Fleming noted that a recent Project Woodland regulatory report “gave few recommendations” to improve the forestry licensing system, or to address concerns of farmers involved in forestry. Fleming noted that “It’s been a year and a half since Project Woodland was set up. But in those 18 months we have seen little progress, with the very same issues relating to the licensing system continuing to cause huge problems.”

Fleming is calling for a full reform of the licensing system to encourage farmers to plant more trees. Fleming when onto argue that the reform should aim to reduce delays in license approval, allow for exemptions for general management practices such as thinning, introduce a single consent system, and change the current appropriate assessment (AA) screening process.

“Restoring farmers’ confidence in forestry is the only way we will see a reversal in the downward trend of forestry planting in Ireland,” Fleming said.


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Original Source:
Project Woodland progress on forestry issues criticised