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Minister Doyle opens Brussels event on the Future of Plantation Forests in Europe

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D today opened a high level conference in Brussels organised by the European Forest Institute (EFI) to discuss the future of plantation forests in Europe. The event is part of a series of “Think Forest” events which the Institute organise to stimulate discussion on a range of forest topics.

Minister Doyle speaking at the event today said “Although plantation forests form approximately only 7% of the world forests, they supply over a third of the world’s timber. It is important to recognise the multiple benefits provided by different types of forests and the important role they play in the production of timber as well as providing multiple ecosystem services.” 

The discussion on plantation forests also provided the platform for Minister Doyle to welcome the launch of a new study by the EFI titled, “Plantation forests in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities”.  The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine provides funding to the EFI which contributes to development studies in a range of important areas. This study draws on recently published scientific research and four case studies (Ireland, Sweden, Italy and Georgia), to ask if plantation forestry is currently meeting its full potential to deliver European environmental and socio-economic policy. It identifies what science can tell us about designing and managing forest plantations, their use to meet society’s future needs, and sets out the major policy implications. European forests are facing new demands such as mitigating climate change, providing goods and services, generating jobs and acting as a source of fuel and materials. Forestry is also expected to play a major part in supplying the feedstock and services required to develop an innovative, sustainable bioeconomy. Plantation forests can play a key role in meeting these objectives.


Minister Doyle also welcomed the new European Green Deal announced last week and stated that it “resets the Commission’s commitment to tackling climate change and sets out a pathway of increasing ambition to create a better future. Forests will continue to be part of that journey but we must ensure that we continue to be vigilant in the light of increasing threats and diseases. We must continue to work together to share our knowledge and support forums that encourage debate, and challenge the way we think about forests.”


The Minister concluded that “It is also important that we continue to share knowledge between foresters and researchers. Evidenced-based research must continue to inform forest policy.  We also need to make the wider public aware of the important roles that forests contribute to society and the public good.”


Notes for editors:


Further information on this event is available at


The publication Plantation forests in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities can be found here



What is the European Forest Institute?


EFI is an international organisation based in Finland, which was established by European States through an international convention. Ireland is one of 29 European countries who have ratified the EFI Convention – 2010 in Ireland’s case.


The establishment of EFI was initiated in 1993 with the aim of enhancing international forest research and providing decision makers with unbiased forest-related information at a pan-European level.


Over 20 years later, EFI has grown and developed into a vibrant and well respected international organisation that conducts, co-ordinates and facilitates forest related research. EFI also provides support to its members on policy related issues. Core funding from member countries, which includes Ireland, is required to continue the work of EFI and Ireland has contributed annually since 2010 under a number of initiatives and facilities.


Work of the EFI


  • Conduct research and provide policy support on issues related to forests.
  • Facilitate and stimulate forest-related networking and promote the dissemination of unbiased and policy-relevant information on forests and forestry.
  • Advocate for forest research and for the use of scientifically sound information as a basis for forest policies.
  • Provide European forest research organisations with the resources, capacities and infrastructures they need to maximise their scientific and societal impact.

EFI Thematic work programmes – these have been established in order to provide for a greater concentration of expertise and to facilitate the rollout of thematic results



Date Released: 17 December 2019