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Wallace launches study on Forestry planting levels

Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for forestry matters at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food today announced the appointment of Mr John Malone to undertake a study on the factors affecting the rate of afforestation in Ireland in recent years, given the many incentives already available to landowners to plant.

Mr Malone is being asked to identify possible remedies to this situation and to make recommendations as to how afforestation rate can be increased to an annual level of at least 10,000 hectares by 2010 with the higher levels being achieved thereafter.

Minister Wallace said that forestry was a hugely important natural resource contributing benefits to the country across a range of areas including environment, biofuels, carbon emissions and recreation and tourism. This has been reflected in policy initiatives and incentives put in place by the Government over the years. She said it was timely now to take an overall look at the factors contributing to the choices being made by individual land owners in relation to afforestation. The Minister expects to have the results of the study by end January 2008.

21 November, 2007

Date Released: 21 November 2007