Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (978)

John McGuinness


978. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when he plans to implement the commitments given in the mid-term review of the forestry programmes 2017 and in particular, the actions outlined under section 21.1 on page 46; when he further plans to introduce the new forest management plan and certification scheme encompassing the FMP-C grant aid for certification which is perceived as an absolute necessity for the promotion of the certification process for private forestry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13497/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Department has provided significant funding under the current forestry programme to support the certification of private forests. This included the development of a suite of technical documents to assist forest owners, forestry groups and professional foresters achieve FSC certification; two certification groups were also established with funding from my Department.

I am of the view that certification as a market requirement is something which falls to the sector to consider how best to advance and I would welcome any initiatives between the various elements of the sector as how they can best advance this.

Later this year the Department plans to make available a new forest management plan (FMP) template based on the COFORD Management Planning Group Summary Report. This FMP will be consistent with the current FSC Ireland standard and when completed by forest owners will move them closer to full certification.