Forestry delays another example of bureaucracy stifling foresters
Labour Spokesperson on Rural Affairs Seán Sherlock TD said the delayed €1.3bn forestry plan is systematic of the Government’s approach to the forestry sector.
Deputy Sherlock Said:
“Forestry is being beset by bureaucracy and the net result is what we see today – further delays yet again.
“Ireland has less than 11% forestry cover, which is way below the European average of 35%. We have an abundance of land available. We have a damp climate and the best weather conditions in which to grow trees.
“There has always been plenty of interest from landowners in Ireland in planting their land, yet the Department is failing to capitalise on this interest and convert it into planted hectares.
“Why is that happening? It is because we have a licensing system which is simply not fit for purpose and cannot produce enough licences for the sector to operate. The current administrative process is completely compromising Government planting targets and the national interest.
“Nurseries are in a serious crisis and a financial support package will have to be found because they will go out of business if the planting season is missed this year.
“If the new payments are hit with the same delays as licensing it will drive potential foresters from the sector.
“The longer the Green Party are in government, the less likely we are to seeing forestry targets achieved.”