Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (334)

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

334. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the timeframe for commencing a new national forestry programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29503/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The current Forestry Programme covers the period ending 2020, but given delays in finalising CAP regulations and State Aid rules, will have to extend into 2021. The Programme will set out the different measures that the Department will support during the next programming period.

I am anxious that this new programme reflect societal expectations for a modern forestry programme when it comes to biodiversity, the environment, social needs and the rural economy. It is recognised also that any new Programme must align fully other agricultural schemes, to encourage uptake particularly by farmers. The delivery of ecosystem services in relation to biodiversity, water quality, climate change and recreations is expected to be an important feature of any new Programme. A full consultation process and alignment with any proposed Forestry Strategy will be needed and will be a focus of the Department in the coming months. I expect to be making further announcements on this in the coming months.