The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee launches an inquiry into the role of Defra in supporting a thriving forest economy and environment.
The forestry sector contributes some £1.7 billion a year to the economy and indirectly supports 43,000 jobs. Woods and forests, particularly ancient forests, provide many environmental benefits including enhancing biodiversity and supporting a range of ecosystem services such as water management and climate control.
In addition, forests provide recreational and amenity value to society.
Terms of reference
The Committee is seeking recommendations on how effectively current government policies achieve the objectives below and how they should be developed in future to:
- Increase the level of tree cover and improve management of private and public forests in England;
- Balance woodland protection, including of ancient forests, with economic exploitation, including developing woods as an energy source;
- Provide a strategic framework, including fiscal and regulatory regimes, to support forestry businesses;
- Provide grants and advice through the CAP and the Rural Development Programme, and any successor programme, for England that incentivise the sector to deliver multiple economic and environmental benefits; and
- Ensure there is the right research, including into management of pests and diseases, which is well integrated into policy development
Send a written submission
Written submissions should be submitted online via the Forestry in England inquiry page. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.
Deadline for submissions
The Committee asks for written submissions in accordance with the guidelines by 18 October 2016.