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Forestry Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 20 May 2021

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Ceisteanna (358, 359)

Michael Lowry

Ceist:

358. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if it is planned to exclude professional registered foresters from the scheme to plant trees along rivers and watercourses to act as carbon sinks and interceptors of nutrients currently being prepared by the Minister of State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27188/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Lowry

Ceist:

359. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if it is planned to get external expertise and registered foresters to assist his staff in developing the scheme to plant trees along rivers and watercourses to act as carbon sinks and interceptors of nutrients currently being prepared by the Minister of State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27189/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 358 and 359 together.

The planting of trees along riparian margins has the potential to play a significant part in our environmental priorities especially water quality, biodiversity and climate. My colleague Minister Pippa Hackett has announced her intention to explore how such planting could be promoted at scale. This would combine the best of our agri-environment measures, where over 1.5 million trees were planted under GLAS, for example, and better integration with our afforestation goals such as the Native Woodland establishment scheme.

Any proposed planting of trees that is 0.1 ha or over in area is currently considered afforestation and must have an afforestation licence which must be applied for by a registered forester. This has meant that individual tree planting measures in GLAS and REAP, for example, must be below the 0.1 ha threshold which includes tree planting around field boundaries, including riparian field margins.

We have also included tree planting measures under the REAP scheme as complementary actions. Amongst other things, this will help us meet our intention to include significant tree-planting measures under our future agri-environment schemes in the next round of CAP.

Question No. 359 answered with Question No. 358.
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