Joe O’Brien Welcomes Major Increase to Payments for Forestry Under €1.3 Billion National Forestry Programme
11th November, 2022
Joe O’Brien has welcomed the news that payment rates for all forest types will increase under the new National Forestry Programme. The Green Party this month secured the largest ever investment by an Irish government in tree-planting, a huge step forward in meeting the ambition set in Ireland’s Climate Action Plan. Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, announced the investment of €1.3 billion for Irish forestry, which will have significant potential for landowners in Fingal.
Commenting on the announcement Joe O’Brien said:
“This will be a game-changer for biodiversity in Fingal. Planting trees will be hugely important in the coming years, with significantly increased afforestation a key part of our Climate Action Plan. This unprecedented package of supports will help us deliver the biggest and best-funded Forestry Programme ever in Ireland, and it couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, given the urgency of taking climate mitigation measures.
Planting trees is one of the most effective methods of tackling climate change, as well as contributing to improved biodiversity and water quality, and securing this level of investment is another example of how the Green Party is using its position in government to deliver climate action and strengthen Ireland’s biodiversity.”
Minister Pippa Hackett said:
“I have been in intense discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in recent weeks and months on the new Forestry Programme, which will come into place in early 2023, following state aid approval from the European Commission. It is built around the principle of the right tree in the right place, for the right reasons with the right management. It will deliver a more diverse forest that is better for the climate, biodiversity and water quality. I really believe this Programme, and this record package of supports, marks a turning point for Irish forestry, as well as being another milestone on our journey to making this Ireland’s Green decade.”
Under the new programme, grant payments will increase for all forest types, with native forests and other broadleaf forests seeing the most significant increases in annual payment rates. There will also be attractive financial incentives for agroforestry, forests for water, rewilding, and continuous cover forestry.
The proposed new Forestry Programme is currently out to public consultation as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment process, along with the proposed new Forest Strategy, and Minister Hackett’s Department has engaged widely with environmental NGOs and with the wider forestry sector over the past year in developing the draft Programme and Strategy.
The proposed new Forestry Programme is currently undergoing public consultation, which is accessible here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/public-consultation-on-forestry/