A ‘Deliberative Dialogue on Forestry’ is set to be held next week, Minister of State for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett has said.

The Green Party senator also confirmed that broadcaster Helen Carroll will chair the event, which takes place on two days – Tuesday, May 10 and Saturday, May 14.

The dialogue is part of the work of Project Woodland to “shape a new shared vision and develop a new strategy for trees and forests in Ireland”.

“I am delighted that Helen Carroll will chair the Deliberative Dialogue on Forestry. I know she will bring great experience and energy to the role, and I’m sure she will help to lead a wide-ranging and fruitful discussion on forestry.

“We are working on a new strategy for how we plant and manage trees for a generation to come. We want to make sure we establish forests in the right place and for the right reasons so that we maximise the benefits trees bring to our climate, biodiversity and water quality, as well as our citizens and economy,” Minister Hackett said.

She said the event offers the opportunity to “gain insights” and “generate discussion” among participants on the “best way forward”.

The process will discuss forestry issues and engage with 99 citizens (not including the chairperson) over the two days.

Chairperson for the event Helen Carroll said she was looking forward to taking part, noting that it will be similar in format to the Citizens Assembly.

“Although I am the chair of the Deliberative Dialogue, I am also one of the hundred people who will vote and answer questions about forestry at the end of event. I hope to chair a fact-based and insightful discussion on what the future holds for forestry,” Carroll added.

The dialogue comes hot on the heels of Coillte posting record revenues of over €422 million for 2021, due to, it said, strong demand and higher prices.

As a result of the “exceptional” financial performance, Coillte recommended paying its largest-ever dividend to the State of €30 million.