Afforestation Programme

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 1:15 pm on 2nd March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Matthew O'Toole Matthew O'Toole Social Democratic and Labour Party 1:15 pm, 2nd March 2020

Unfortunately, I did not get in quickly enough to ask the Minister a question on his previous statement, but, perhaps, for both of us, in the interests of agreement, it is a little better that I am asking him on this one because there is probably more consensus.

I welcome his statement and the sentiment behind it. What conversations has the Minister had or does he intend to have with Belfast City Council? One of his colleagues — I think it was my constituency colleague behind him — mentioned Belvoir forest. This is not just about rural areas. Last year, Belfast City Council passed, with, I think, cross-party support, an initiative to plant a million trees. It would be useful to have an indication from him about what conversations he has had with Belfast City Council about supporting that million-tree initiative and ensuring that urban forests are developed in a way that is beneficial for everyone.