Parties lacking imagination and unable to suggest early means for tree planting was how Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson summed up Labour and Lib Dem contributions to the forestry debate in parliament this week (Thursday 19/03)
Following a backward looking debate Mr Gibson said….
"Yet again the Labour and Lib Dem speakers offered no new solutions to find money for planting trees in the next five years. What we got from most of their speakers were petty and puerile attacks on Mike Russell and Roseanna Cunningham."
"However once the opposition has got their ire out of their system the fact remains that there is still a problem regarding finding the money to help meet reforesting targets it is time for them to be constructive."
During the debate he said….
"The debate on the forestry provisions was an attempt to get people's ideas about how we can achieve such regeneration., but it has broadly focused on one proposal in the consultation which genuinely sought to get money which would allow us to kick start an early stage our attempts to curb climate change through the work of the Forestry Commission. The gap in cash income before joint venture renewable schemes get up and running still has to be filled."
He also said that other ways of gaining money from sell-off forestry land faced difficulties.
"If the Labour party want communities to buy forestry land, they have to ask whether the money from the Big Lottery fund will be available. Much of that money has been sequestered for the Olympics in the east of London. The SNP Government intends to expand public and private forestry plantings to achieve 25% tree cover by or before 2050. We are seeking cross party support for the best means to do so."