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Forestry Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (779)

Matt Carthy


779. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he plans to introduce a statutory period in which applicants for forestry-related licences will be entitled to receive a decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61465/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Deputy will be aware of Project Woodland, which is tasked with improving the forestry licensing system and the creation of shared vision for forestry into the future.

In terms of licensing, an important initiative is the in-depth review of the forestry licensing system being carried out by a consultant with legal and environmental expertise.

It will review the existing statutory framework for the licensing of forestry activities in relation to environmental and public participation obligations in order that practical advice can be provided to the Department on how to work more efficiently within the existing legal framework.

As part of this review the question of a statutory timelines for the issuing of decision on licences will be considered. That report is expected at end February next.

We continue to work towards delivering licences in an acceptable timeframe and we have in recent months seen improvements in licence delivery and a reduction in the backlog. It is my intention that we will build on this momentum in 2022 so that we can meet the needs of applicants for forestry licences and of the wider forestry sector and society as a whole.