Donal Whelan, B.Agr.Sc. (Forestry) is a forestry graduate from University College Dublin and is principal of Commercial Forestry Services Ltd. (CFS) and holds the position of Technical Director of the Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA).
In 2015 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. 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 to assist in addressing this primary aim and the final Report was published and launched by the Minister of State for Forestry recently (Dec 2018).
See COFORD Forest Policy Review Group Report .
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.
In November 2016, Forest Service, DAFM, 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 forest certificates in Ireland with the awarding of the 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.
Mechteld Schuller (left) and Donal Whelan (right) of Commercial Forestry Services Ltd presented Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle TD (centre) with a commemorative copy of the two group certificates.
Donal has also worked on a number of Irish Timber Growers Association submissions to Government relating to the ITGA Submission on Ash Dieback Strategy, Irish Timber Growers Association submission to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on Forestry Programme 2014-2020 Mid Term Review (April 2017), 2025 Agri-Food Strategy and forestry, Forestry Taxation and the potential for greenhouse gas mitigation within the Agriculture and Forest Sector.
Donal was a member of the National Forestry Review Group which was charged with the review and updating of national forest policy goals.
Donal has represented the private forestry sector on a number of important forestry bodies in the past including, among others:
- Past Vice-Chairman of the Irish Forest Industry Chain which was the national forest industry representative body affiliated to IBEC.
- Appointed by Minister of State for Forestry to the Forest Industry Forum.
- Appointed to the Timber Industry Development Group, which was established by the Minister for Trade & Enterprise.
M. Agr. Sc. (Forestry)
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' (Netherlands Association of Alumni of the Agricultural University, Wageningen) . Mechteld is a Director of Commercial Forestry Services Ltd. (CFS).
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 its various Project Management Services. Mechteld has worked with the Irish Timber Growers Association since 2003.
As part of her Project Management work Mechteld is responsible for the development and management of the websites www.forestryyearbook.ie, www.itga.ie, www.forestry.ie and also www.forests.ie
Most recently, Mechteld acted as Project Manager for the Pilot Project to facilitate Group Certification of private forests in Ireland.
Pictured at the launch of the 2019 Forestry & Timber Yearbook were (from l to r): Donal Magner (Yearbook Editor), Brendan Lacey (ITGA Chairman), Donal Whelan, (ITGA Technical Director), Minister of State for Forestry, Andrew Doyle TD, Mechteld Schuller (ITGA Secretariat), Pat Neville (Coillte)