Tom Hayes, Minister of State with responsibility for forestry delivered the keynote address at the 2014 at the national forestry conference What shall we do with the timber? – Opportunities for Irish timber. in Enfield.
He stressed the significant contribution the forestry sector now makes to the economy and society in general, noting that there are just under 12,000 people employed in the Irish forestry and forest products sector and that some 78% of the output of Ireland’s processing sector was exported in 2012.
“The theme of the conference, What shall we do with the timber is particularly appropriate and I am sure that it will be thought-provoking and will give us an overview of the strengths, opportunities and challenges facing our forestry sector,” he told the conference.
In a wide-ranging speech, Minister of State Hayes updated the attendance on current and long term issues associated with the development of the forestry sector, including the measures taken to deal with the storm damage to Irish forests earlier this year, the ongoing work in dealing with forest diseases and ensuring that factors affecting afforestation and forest management are dealt with.
He added that “At a national level, there are three main issues – the formulation of the new forestry programme to bring us up to 2020, the updating of the legislative framework within which the forestry sector operates and the outcome of the review of forest policy.”
Paul Harvey, chairman of the Wood Marketing Federation announced the Wood Marketing Federation Wood Awards Ireland at the event. This is open to Irish architects, engineers and designers working in Ireland and overseas who use wood as an inherent element in their projects.
The conference was organised by the Wood Marketing Federation in association with the Society of Irish Foresters.
Full conference presentation available for download below.