Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has published the first interim report on the implementation of Project Woodland. The report was submitted to the Minister by the Project Board overseeing the implementation of the Project and It will produce the second and third interim reports in October and December of this year and bi-monthly until the conclusion of the Project.
The purpose of the Interim Reports is to give feedback to members of the Working groups across the whole scope of the project, to keep stakeholders and the general public apprised of developments, and to make recommendations to the Minister on next steps.
The Minister said “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 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 Minister also published the Project Charter today to accompany the Interim Report. This is a very important document – it draws together the scope, objectives and responsibilities of the project participants and lays out a framework for management and oversight.
The report also outlines next steps on some of the recommendations. Progress on these will be closely monitored and updated in each of the follow-up interim reports also.
There are two recommendations in particular to which the Project Board identified as requiring immediate action:
- The need for a regulatory review on forestry licencing in Ireland. A tender for a review team comprising legal, planning and environmental expertise is being published this week on the Government’s eTenders website.
- A consultation plan for the development of a new National Forest Strategy is also outlined. DAFM is working immediately to put in place the structures for this to start now. The engagement with local communities through Irish Rural Link has already started and has been prioritised by the Minister as step one in the development of the next strategy.
The Minister concluded “I want to thank the four members of the Project Board for their work in producing this. I would also like to thank the four WG Chairs and each of the members for your input. None of this work is easy and there are no silver bullets but the collaboration between stakeholders is obvious form the report. I look forward to discussing this in more detail with them as we drive on to the next stage in implementing this Project.
The interim report and the Project Charter can be found at: