Hayes Launches COFORD Annual Report 2012-2013 and COFORD ‘Forestry 2030’ Papers

Tom Hayes T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, today launched the COFORD Report for 2012-2013 and a range of papers ‘Forestry 2030’ prepared by COFORD.

The Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD) is an advisory body to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The role of the Council is to advise the Department on matters related to forest research and to advise on, and support, the development of the forest sector in Ireland. The membership of the Council, the Chairman of which is Mr. Micheal Lynn of Woodfab Timber Ltd., represents a wide range of stakeholders within the forest sector.

ForestLaunching the Council’s Report on its activities in 2012-2013, Minister Hayes commented, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of COFORD Council for their ongoing work, time and commitment. The extent of their input is evident from their report for 2012-2013 which highlights the comprehensive nature of their work in assisting the development of our sector.”  In addition to developing a new national forest strategy, in collaboration with the Research and Codex Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, COFORD identified three priority issues in February 2012, namely the afforestation programme, forest management planning, and mobilisation of roundwood and formed Council Working Groups, chaired by Council members, to address the issues.  The Annual Report outlines the progress made by each Working Group on the various issues.

The Council also updated its Forestry 2030 policy papers on ‘Irish Forestry and the Economy’, ‘Irish Forests and Climate change’, ‘Irish Forests and Renewable Energy’, ‘Irish Forests and Biodiversity’, and ‘Irish Forests and Recreation’. The Minister of State welcomed the publication of the papers and noted that “There are often general statements made about the importance of the forestry sector to the Irish economy and society.  These papers give the facts and the figures to support those statements and the fact that they have been issued by COFORD, a respected and reputable body, enables us to rely on those figures”.

Minister of State Hayes added that “All of this material and the recommendations contained therein will be carefully considered by my Department. I look forward to working with COFORD and all of the stakeholders who have contributed to these papers.  Our common goal is the ongoing development of Irish forestry policy and to develop Ireland’s forestry industry to maximise the returns, economic, environmental and social, that flow from the State’s investment.”