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 Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Social Democratic and Labour Party 1:15 pm, 2nd March 2020

I thank the Minister for this positive statement. It brings to mind the old proverb that was quoted here recently upon the passing of Seamus Mallon:

"A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit."

We have quite a long way to go before we can be considered great, and, of course, the Minister has a wee bit to go before he can be considered old. He spoke about working with local authorities and other Departments. In particular, what work can be done with the Department for Infrastructure (DFI) on planning policy and with councils as they form their local development plans on enshrining a requirement that some planning applications have to include planting?