Forest Owners say carbon-only forestry should be kept off productive land
The Forest Owners Association would like to see production forestry and farming on productive land – rather than this land used for carbon-only forests.
It says this should be a priority for any incoming government.
The FOA has been approached for comment on carbon-only forests, following National Leader, Chris Luxon, promising this morning to tighten controls for overseas investment in carbon-only forest planting.
FOA President, Grant Dodson, says the Overseas Investment Office has always interpreted the Overseas Investment Act to prohibit investment in carbon-only forests.
“But it seems Chris Luxon is pointing to an absence in the Act of explicit prohibition of registration of forests into the permanent Emmisions Trading Scheme section by overseas buyers.
Grant Dodson says the FOA represents approximately three-quarters of New Zealand forests.
“None of our members are carbon-only investors. Our focus, whether we are local or overseas owners, is growing trees to harvest them.”
“There is a case for carbon-only forests to help fight climate change, but only on land highly unlikley to be useable for other productive uses, such as farming or commercial forestry.”
“It’s important productive lands remain both productive and we retain flexibility of land use, so the highest value crop or animal can be grown for New Zealand’s economic prosperity,” Grant Dodson says.
“If the National Party thinks the Overseas Investment Act is unclear, then they might want to change it. We’d share their view that overseas investment in any form is a privilege, and not a right.”
“FOA believes there is room for a National Evironmental Standard for Plantation Forests to be developed separately for carbon-only forests, as they are not covered by existing rules for commercial plantation forests destined for harvest.”