12,000 jobs are at risk in the forestry sector due to the backlog in granting afforestation and felling licences.
That’s according to the Social Economic, Environmental Forestry Association of Ireland.
They are staging a series of social media protests today targeting Government TD’s in an effort to highlight the crisis in the sector.
Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill is Chair of the Agriculture Committee – he is extremely worried about the levels of afforestation saying we have seriously missed our targets in the programme for Government.
“Over the last five years we’re 15,000 behind target of our afforestation. If those trees had been planted, in the lifetime of those forests they could have sequestered 5.4 million tonnes of carbon. And we’re going to be talking about carbon budgets and there’s going to be a lot of toing and froing in the agri-food industry and farmers are going to be extremely worried on what carbon budgets are going to be attributed to each sector.
“Here we have really missed an opportunity to benefit rural economies and also in our fight against climate change.”