The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has recently announced that it is seeking tenders for a €9 million contract for ecology services as part of the new National Forestry Programme. The contract will be for a period of two years, with the possibility of two extensions of 12 months each. The invitation to submit tenders was published on the government’s eTenders website on Wednesday, August 23.
According to DAFM, the new forestry programme will require a wide range of services including ornithology, botany, zoology, and fresh water ecology/hydrology. The department aims to access ecological and environmental science expertise through this tender in order to apply an appropriate assessment procedure (AAP) to current and future applications for forestry licences. Additionally, DAFM hopes that the services secured through this process will help reduce the backlog of forestry licences.
The contract, valued at €9 million excluding VAT, is divided into 15 different lots, each valued at €600,000 excluding VAT. These lots cover various services such as environmental, agricultural, forestry, horticultural, aquacultural, and apicultural services. The department will also be seeking consultancy services for general management and environmental issues. The closing date for tenders is September 25, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
In related news, the European Commission recently approved a €308 million scheme to support investments in afforestation in Ireland. This scheme is part of Ireland’s new €1.3 billion Forestry Programme 2023-2027. The afforestation measure is set to open for new applications in the coming weeks.
Under the new programme, premiums for planting trees will increase up to €1,142 per hectare, depending on the forest type. The premium period for farmers will also be extended from 15 to 20 years, while non-farmers will receive premiums for 15 years. The programme offers a wide range of planting options, with rates that are 46-66% higher than before.
However, the department is still awaiting approval from the EU Commission for the remainder of the new forestry programme. This approval is crucial for the successful implementation of the programme and its associated initiatives.
Overall, the new National Forestry Programme and the tender for ecology services highlight the Irish government’s commitment to sustainable forestry practices and environmental conservation. By investing in ecological expertise and afforestation measures, Ireland aims to enhance its natural resources and contribute to a greener future.