Task Force Boost to Sustainable Forestry

Task Force Boost to Sustainable Forestry

The Government has announced it will implement a host of the forestry sector’s own recommendations to boost sustainable forestry and the green economy in its response to the Forestry Regulation Task Force published on 27 March 2012.

The Task Force identified more than 40 ways to make it easier for those who want to create, and sustainably manage, woods and forests in England. The Government endorsed the Task Force’s view on forestry’s significant value and the opportunity to realise more of its potential, committing to continued close working with the sector.

Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair said: “Looking after our country’s woodlands can go hand-in-hand with growing a green economy and vibrant forestry sector. I’m delighted that we have been able to respond so positively to the many recommendations that came out of the hard work from the Forestry Regulatory Task Force.

“Now’s the time to refresh our relationship with the sector. Building on the Task Force’s report, we will refocus our time and effort in some areas to doing less while helping others to do more. We will develop a risk-based approach to regulation that recognises good past performance yet keeps strong protection for our woodlands.

“There is a commitment too, to work with the forestry sector to increase understanding of what good woodland management is all about and at the same time harness their passion for them by making it easier to report suspected illegal felling.

“The Task Force’s report is a mixture of quick-wins that we will implement as soon as we can, yet is clear that there is more work to be done for long-term change.”

While welcoming the report, Confor has raised its concern that no decision has yet been made on removing forestry from the scope of Gangmaster licensing, an obvious action that is seen by the sector as a ‘litmus test’ of government’s willingness to assist forestry.

The Independent Panel on Forestry under the Chairmanship of Bishop James Jones is due to report in Spring 2012 and a small number of recommendations from the Regulatory Task Force will be considered as part of a wider response to the Government’s policy for Forestry in England.

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