IRELAND — A new forestry programme worth €1.3 billion has been announced by the Government. The fund will see payments to farmers for planting trees rise by between 46% and 66%, and payments will continue for 20 years rather than the existing 15. The funding will be channelled through the new forestry programme that will run from 2023 until 2030 and represents the largest investment by the State in afforestation. A target of 8,000 hectares of forestry planting per annum is contained in the Climate Action Plan, but Ireland is currently only planting 2,000 hectares. Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry Pippa Hackett said the funding comes at an appropriate time, given the need for climate mitigation measures.