Written Answers. - Afforestation Programme.

Olwyn Enright

Question:

244 Ms Enright asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the effect he expects the cutbacks in forestry will have on the national climate change strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3919/03]

My colleague Deputy Cullen, Minister for the Environment and Local Government, has recently announced his intention to review the national climate change strategy due to the continuing emissions increases as a result of the volume growth in the economy. An analysis of the strategy will assess existing and potential new measures to achieve Ireland's target, 1990 levels plus 13%, under the Kyoto Protocol. This review is being undertaken by the cross-departmental climate change team, and will take into consideration all sectoral elements including afforestation levels.

The Minister for the Environment and Local Government is confident that the review will be finalised during the first half of this year at which stage the impact of funding levels for forestry in 2003 will become clearer.