Afforestation Programme

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

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 1:15 pm, 2nd March 2020

Current practice is to engage with council delivery practitioners. It has proved very successful, and we have signed a series of memorandums of understanding. Some 85% of those recent memorandums have led to real beneficial change in our forest parks. We have engaged with Belfast City Council, and that engagement will continue to see how we can further enhance that. Belfast, I believe, wants to plant one million trees, and we are more than happy to work with, support, lend expertise and facilitate it in how we can do that. That takes us one eighteenth of the way there; we have another 17 eighteenths to go beyond what Belfast City Council wants to do. If every constituency was to plant a million trees, we would be there, so that would put four million in Belfast. We understand that there is less land availability there, and a million trees would certainly be a huge asset to the city of Belfast. We are happy to work with the council on that.