Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett, has announced the publication of the All Ireland Roundwood Production Forecast 2021-2040. The Report was prepared by the COFORD, Council for Forest Research and Development and submitted to the Minister.
Launching the report, the Minister Hackett highlighted the importance of stakeholders on the commitments in the Programme for Government and the mobilisation of timber, “the information in this report highlights the growing importance of the forestry sector in Ireland. A future roundwood forecast is valuable for forest owners and wood processors to have an accurate production schedule of available timber for current and future markets.”
“It’s also very valuable for Government in helping to plan future policy in this area. Project Woodland is being developed and making progress towards addressing the challenges with the forest licensing process, as an efficient licensing process is key to achieving the forecasted levels of supply on a sustainable basis.”
The forecast predicts that the annual potential roundwood supply will increase from 4.9 million in 2021 to 7.9 million cubic metres by 2035, followed by a small decrease to remain constant at about 7.6 million cubic metres up to 2040.
Minister Hackett commented on the projected wood production and the benefits of past afforestation programmes, “my Department has supported landowners over the past number of decades through the afforestation programme and related forest schemes in planting forests where much of this forecasted roundwood will be produced.”
“This timber will contribute to the economy, employment in rural areas, the supply of high quality timber to the construction sector and the export of processed wood. It’s also very important from an environmental point of view as harvested wood products will increasingly grow to replace fossil fuel products and become a key part of our national climate policy”.
The COFORD All Ireland Roundwood Production Forecast 2021-2040 was a collaborative effort by the COFORD Wood Mobilisation and Production Forecasting Group which includes stakeholders from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Coillte, the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs, Teagasc, the Irish Farmers Association, Forest Industries Ireland and the Irish Timber Growers Association.
There is an online tool accompanying the forecast that allows users to generate their own regional forecast for an area of interest specified by the user. The portal facilitates the dissemination of comprehensive volume forecast information in an accessible, reproducible and transparent way.