A Shared National Vision for trees, woods and forests in Ireland until 2050 has been published by Minister of State with responsibility for forestry, Pippa Hackett today (Monday, September 12).
The visionary document calls for “the right trees in the right places for the right reasons with the right management – supporting a sustainable and thriving economy and society and a healthy environment”.
It is anticipated that, by 2050, Ireland’s forests will be seen as a key solution to the climate, biodiversity, housing and health emergencies of the 2020s.
The publication is based on Project Woodland’s extensive public consultation carried out by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), to find out what the nation wants from Ireland’s trees.
Commenting on the publication of the Shared National Vision for Forestry 2050, Minister Hackett said:
“It is a call to action and shows the urgency needed to plant the right trees in the right places. The vision underlines our commitment to sustainably manage our expanding forest estate and to increase the environmental, economic and social benefits of forests.
“There is almost unanimous support to establish more forests, and this aligns with commitments in the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan to urgently expand the area of forests in Ireland,” Minister Hackett said.
Key messages from previous public consultations have been the need for a significant shift in land use change, and better integration of trees and forests with traditional farming and agricultural practices.
There is a clear preference for planting on farmland in a way that enhances ecosystems and biodiversity, according to previously conducted public consultations by the DAFM.
The vision was published in advance of a new Forest Strategy and Forestry Programme, which will be subject to public consultations shortly and will be shaped by the extensive feedback received over the last 12 months, the minister said.
“This is a shared vision and it amplifies the many benefits of forests for our climate, our people, our economy and Ireland’s water quality, biodiversity and habitats,” according to Minister Hackett.