Donal Whelan, B.Agr.Sc. (Forestry) is a forestry graduate from University College Dublin and is principal of Commercial Forestry Services Ltd. (CFS) and Technical Director of the Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA).
Since 1986 Donal Whelan has provided forestry consultancy, management and advisory services to a wide range of corporate and private clients.
A number of woodlands managed by Donal Whelan have won the National RDS – FS Forestry Awards, the most recent in 2019
In November 2020, Donal was appointed by the Minister of State for Forestry to the Forestry Policy Group which is tasked with contributing to the development and delivery of a successor Forestry Strategy for Ireland and a new Forestry Programme and identifying potential improvements in National Forestry Policy.
In 2019 Donal was reappointed by the Minister of State for Forestry to the National Council for Forest Research & Development (COFORD). COFORD’s functions are national forest research co-ordination, knowledge transfer, service provision and industry development.
Donal was appointed Chairman of the COFORD Forest Policy Review Group in 2017. Following the adoption of the Forest Policy Review, Forests, products and people – Ireland’s forest policy – a renewed vision by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, a fundamental recommendation in the review was the need to track progress on implementation of the recommendations in the Policy document.
The Forest Policy Review Group was established in 2017 to assist in addressing this primary aim and the final Report under the chairmanship of Donal Whelan was published and launched by the Minister of State for Forestry in December 2018.
See this COFORD Forest Policy Review Group Report (PDF).
On behalf of the COFORD Council, Donal previously chaired the Development Group appointed to address scientific and technical constraints on the attainment of the national afforestation programme and sustainable forest management. Following work by this Group, the COFORD Council launched a set of papers entitled “Forestry 2030” to highlight the contribution of forests to the national economy, climate change, rural development, renewable energy and other areas. These papers were launched by Minister of State for Forestry.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine awarded a tender to undertake the Pilot Project to facilitate Group Certification of private forests in Ireland to Commercial Forestry Services in partnership with The Forestry Company and UK Forest Certification. The 18 month project resulted in the doubling of the number of international Sustainable Forest Management certificates in Ireland with the awarding of group certificates to the North East Forest Certification Club and the Forest Owners Co-operative Society on 30th April 2018 by Andy Grundy of Soil Association Certification in the presence of Minister of State Andrew Doyle, TD.
Donal has also worked on various Irish Timber Growers Association submissions to Government. A full list of ITGA Submissions can be found on the ITGA Website.
Mechteld Schuller, M.Agr.Sc. (Forestry) is a forestry graduate from the Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands and is a member of ‘het Nederlands Instituut van Landbouwkundig Ingenieurs‘.
Mechteld also holds certificates in Forest Management Certification and Auditing to ISO 19011 and is a Director and Project Manager at CFS and Executive Secretary of the Irish Timber Growers Association.
Prior to joining CFS, Mechteld worked for a number of years with Microsoft and other companies in the IT industry.
Mechteld’s main area of expertise within CFS involves various Project Management Services.
As part of the Project Management work Mechteld is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of the websites www.forestryyearbook.ie, www.itga.ie, www.forestry.ie and also www.forests.ie.
Mechteld also acted as Project Manager for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine funded Pilot Project to facilitate Group Certification of private forests in Ireland and has undertaken forest certification project work for a number of other forestry bodies.