Dan Rogerson MP fully committed to a new independent body managing England’s Public Forest Estate
Summary of Woodland Policy Enabling Programme survey results published
Forestry Commission England Director Ian Gambles sets out next steps
Parliamentary under Secretary of State Dan Rogerson MP has written to the Bishop James Jones, former Chair of the Independent Panel on Forestry updating him on the Government’s plans for the future of England’s public forest estate.
The letter emphasises the Government’s complete commitment to establishing a new, operationally-independent public body to own and manage the Public Forest Estate for the benefit of people, nature and the economy. Mr Rogerson said the new organisation deserved the best possible legislation supported by the widest possible consensus.
Reflecting on the recent stakeholder survey, Forestry Commission England Director Ian Gambles agreed it was vitally important to get the legislation right. “The wide range of views stakeholders put forward in responding to our recent survey illustrates just how complex these issues are. We look forward to working closely with stakeholders to get the proposals in the best possible shape in the New Year.”
A summary of the survey results underlines stakeholders’ wholehearted support for a ‘triple bottom line’ mission for the new PFE body – balancing social, environmental and economic priorities. Many made the point that commercial objectives must not be to the detriment of other goals, and that the value of ecosystem services must be recognised in future financial arrangements.
“We completely endorse these views,” Ian said. “They have already helped us to prepare the advice to Ministers and clear instructions to the legal team working on preparing the draft legislation, which we plan to subject to full Pre-Legislative Scrutiny when published. This engagement and consultation will continue into 2014 and beyond, beginning with an early meeting of the National Forestry Stakeholder Forum.”