Following on from the release of a report on the forestry sector last week, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine is going to launch a report of its own on the sector.

The report will be launched at 1:30pm tomorrow. It will be titled ‘Issues Impacting the Forestry Sector in Ireland’.

Its purpose is to “identify key issues and recommendations” which span the issues of the Mackinnon Report on forestry licencing; the Programme for Government; ash dieback; legacy issues; and “planning for the future”.

The issue of forestry, particularly the delay in granting licences for felling, afforestation and forest roads, has been a frequent topic of conversation among the committee in recent weeks.

Across these three licence types, there are thought to be over 4,000 licence applications awaiting approval.

Not only that, but less than half of the targeted figures for application approval (for private forestry) that were submitted to ecologists in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Forestry Service were met in the last five months of last year.

This report will come hot on the heels of a report that was released last week by the department.

The report was compiled by Jo O’Hara, a forestry consultant from Scotland. She was commissioned by the department to look into how to apply the recommendations of the earlier Mackinnon Report on the forestry licencing system.