Call to stop Forest Privatisation‏

Grangemouth MSP Cathy Peattie has called for plans to privatise forestry to be dropped.

Cathy, who is Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change committee, said that she was pleased that the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee had now stated in its report (published 5th March) that the Scottish Government plans to lease large swathes of Scotland’s forests to a private company should be removed from the Climate Change Bill.

“I am totally opposed to these badly thought out proposals,” said Cathy.

“They have created uncertainty for Forestry Commission staff, and I believe would damage forestry related industries, public access and biodiversity. Submissions to the committee were overwhelmingly opposed, and the SNP Government couldn’t even convince its own members on the committee. They should now withdraw their proposals to privatise Scotland’s forests”

Elaine Murray, Labour’s Environment Spokesperson and a member of the committee, added:  “We believe that there are other ways of raising funds to support woodland creation, and we believe that forestry development should form part of an integrated land use strategy which also considers food production, flood prevention and conservation. The Scottish Government got this badly wrong and these plans should be ditched.”

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