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April, 2016

Pure Advantage calls for 1.3 million hectares of new forest in New Zealand

As set forth in the Pure Advantage discussion paper, Our Forest Future, this goal is defined as ambitious but realistic.

Our Forest Future

"Our future forests will add national value and mitigate a range of future risks."

"In 2011, Pure Advantage was founded on the conviction that New Zealand is in a global race for green growth - and we cannot afford to slip behind. Since then, not enough has happened - and, in certain respects, things have only got worse.

For example, in 2011 the Global Green Economy Index had New Zealand ranked number one in its assessment of 27 of the world’s leading economies. In 2012, we slipped to sixth. In 2014, we were ranked 18th among sixty survey countries."

Our Forest Future, by Dr David Hall, is written in the spirit of getting us back in the running for the race to a green economy. It takes the view that we shouldn’t be a “fast follower” in the transition to a low-emissions world. Rather, we should be a “canny leader” - that is, we should follow where we must, but lead wherever we can - because by leading on the issues that affect us most, we will gain disproportionately from finding solutions.

Interview with the Author David Hall on Radio New Zealand - Planting for Our Future >>

New Zealand lost close to 140,000 hectares of forest between 2001 and 2014 according to World Forest Watch. The bulk of that loss was made up of forestry plantations being harvested and not replanted - but by no means all. An estimated 10,0000 hectares of native and regenerating forest was lost between 1996 and 2014. David Hall is the author of Our Forest Future: Towards a National Forestry Future for New Zealand. The paper, commissioned by Pure Advantage, advocates planting 1.3 million hectares in forest to off-set our agricultural emissions.

Media release
22 April 2016
Forest strategy proposal welcomed
Forest owners say a Pure Advantage report that proposes a near-doubling of the area of planted forest in New Zealand is very welcome.
“The independent report by Dr David John Hall raises many issues that forest owners have been emphasising with politicians for decades,” says Forest Owners Association (FOA) technical manager Glen Mackie.
“If this gets some cut-through, we will be thrilled. Forests offer so many benefits to our society and with the right incentives, they could offer so much more.
“Our members are businesses which need to make a profit from growing trees, either from the sale of logs or through the storage of carbon. But there are many other reasons to plant trees, such as erosion control, reduced flooding, improved biodiversity and cleaner waterways, as we are currently promoting through the NZ Wood campaign."
Mr Mackie says it would be very helpful for the government, ideally with support from other political parties, to have a national forestry strategy.
“As Dr Hall points out, forestry is an intergenerational commitment, so land owners need to know that future governments will weigh the effect of any proposed new policies on forests and forest owners.
“The constant changes in the NZ emissions trading scheme which, to use Dr Hall’s words, have ‘dejected and disenfranchised land owners’ are a case study in how not to manage forest policy. They are also one of the main reasons why such a strategy is needed.”
Mr Mackie says the report presents a very good analysis of the benefits that arise from forests, not only for the forest owner but on “surrounding communities and future generations”.
“Dr Hall’s proposal to increase forest plantings by 1.3 million hectares would not only be hugely beneficial to New Zealand’s carbon position, but would position us to reap the other associated benefits of forestry – employment, economic advantage and environmental – while not adversely affecting other land uses.
“The report presents an ambitious, but very achievable proposal that would transform forestry in New Zealand.”
For more information, please contact Glen Mackie, Tel 027 445 0116


Trevor Walton
FOA communications
Tel 021 381 465


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