22 March 2017
The Forest Owners Association says policy makers must decide soon on which option to adopt from the just released Vivid report recommending various scenarios for making New Zealand carbon neutral.
The President of the Forest Owners Association, Peter Clark says the means to achieve a reduction in New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions have been well known for a long time.
"It's quite simple. Our landscape needs to have fewer livestock and more trees. The report from the Parliamentary Commission for the Environment last October stated there are no other immediate options but to put more trees into the ground to soak up agriculture's greenhouse gasses."
Peter Clark says it is not up to forest owners or farm foresters to tell to the government what ultimate degree of stock reduction there ought to be.
"We do know that there are too many dairy cows in an environment which cannot sustain them without a severe destruction of water quality, such as in the Central North Island. This land is far better in trees, which enhance water quality."
"With a parliamentary cross party accord developing we look forward to seeing what the policy goals will be. We have been anticipating this since New Zealand signed on to the Paris Agreement." "But if the afforestation is anywhere near the degree of Vivid's scenarios it will represent a massive increase in planting trees, up to nearly doubling our plantation forest cover in little more than 30 years." Peter Clark says.
"If we are to achieve this, we need support. We need the nurseries to escalate production. We need workers to plant the seedlings. We need to be able to develop a local processing industry to cope with the volume."
Peter Clark says farmers should welcome a forest option on their properties.
"Returns are comparable to drystock farming. The price of carbon credits is increasing. Growing trees is another income stream when meat and wool prices are in the doldrums."
For further information, contact Peter Clark, ph 021 726 197.