The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, has announced the publication of the new Strategic Research Agenda for Forestry in Ireland “Forest Research Ireland (FORI) – meeting the needs of Ireland’s forest sector to 2017 and beyond through research and innovation”.

Forest Research Ireland (FORI), which was developed under the auspices of the sector-led COFORD Council Forest Research Working Group, involving a wide diversity of stakeholders and co-ordinated by Research Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, captures specific policy, knowledge and production focused research topics and ideas relevant to the needs of forest stakeholders, according to the Minister.

“I believe that this Strategic Research Agenda, which aims to guide public investment in forest research, identifies the scientific knowledge gaps required to be addressed to help underpin the continued expansion, productivity, optimum resource utilisation and added value opportunities within the forestry sector,” the Minister said.

FORI identifies research areas which will help address the protection of our forests’ resource at a time of increasing threat, together with the delivery of ecosystem services at a time of increasing demand on the resource and all within the wider context of the challenges and opportunities of climate change.

Minister of State Tom Hayes, with responsibility for Forestry said that the importance of continued investment in excellent science for Ireland’s forest sector cannot be understated. “Investing in research is a central part of the Food Harvest 2020 strategy. Indeed, it is also a central part of this Government’s Action Plan for Jobs insofar as it ensures that scientific research is better targeted at turning the good ideas of our talented researchers into new products and processes and ultimately high quality jobs.”