Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs
The majority of forestry functions in Wales are carried out by Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales. However some aspects of forestry by their nature require co-ordination between the Devolved Administrations in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
These include the commissioning and delivery of forestry research, protection of trees from pests and diseases, agreement on codes and standards for the sustainable management of our forests, production of statistics, forest inventory and some forestry publications.
The arrangements for these functions need to be amended as a result of the decision by the Scottish Government to bring a final end to the Forestry Commission as a cross-border public body.
I have agreed my officials will work with counterparts in the Scottish Government, Defra and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland to make new arrangements and draw up a Memorandum of Understanding for shared delivery of these important functions across the UK.
I am pleased to note work on developing a shared approach has been taken forward in a highly collaborative manner across all Administrations. It is vital each Administration now agrees the details of a future Memorandum of Understanding in order to ensure the significant benefits that our trees, woodlands and forests are managed sustainably and protected in the future.