An external review of Ireland’s forestry-licensing system is set to commence according to Minister of State for Forestry, Senator Pippa Hackett.

Minister Hackett has confirmed that “a preferred bidder” has been selected to undertake the review.

“A contract for the regulatory review will be awarded in the coming days,” she said.

“The wider stakeholder consultation on the vision to 2050 on Irish forestry is also commencing in some detail and I hope all groups and stakeholders will engage on this. 

This external regulatory review is one of two recommendations set out in the first Project Woodland interim report.

The second recommendation related to conducting a public consultation process on the new Forest Strategy.

On the issue of licensing, the minister confirmed that there will be a renewed focus on afforestation licensing output as the planting season approaches.

She said the immediate priority is to resolve licensing difficulties, adding that the work being done to achieve this is “bearing fruit with significantly increased output”.

The membership of the Forestry Policy Group is as follows:

FIIMark McAuley
FIIBrian Murphy
FIIPeter O’Brien
FIIMarina Conway
IFAVincent Nally
CoillteMark Carlin
AIFCDermot Houlihan
ACATom Canning
TeagascNuala Ni Fhlatharta
ITGADonal Whelan
Pro SilvaPaddy Purser
NPWSJenni Roche
EPABernard Hyde
None So HardyTeige Ryan
Environmental PillarAndrew St Ledger
An TaisceElaine McGoff
SWANMark Boyden
Irish Wildlfe TrustPádraic Fogarty
Birdwatch IrelandOonagh Duggan
Woodlands of IrelandJoe Gowran
Irish Rural LinkSeamus Boland
COFORDEugene Hendrick
FCIMichael Moroney
FOCS/LTWOKathryn O’Donoghue
IFONicholas Sweetman
Irish Green Building CouncilPat Barry
Forestry Policy Group members