New Zealand forestry professionals meeting for their annual conference in Nelson today will receive and discuss a new national forest policy. The document “Forest Policy for New Zealand” has been presented to the Minister of Forests, Shane Jones, who formally opened the conference this morning.
David Evison, President of the NZ Institute of Forestry introduced the policy to the conference and suggested to the Minister that Government and its officials use the document to help develop sound long-term strategies for forestry development in New Zealand.
“Unlike many countries, New Zealand has no national forest policy. Government decisions on matters as diverse as climate change, water quality, taxation, overseas investment and land use have too often adversely affected our forests. As trees live longer than most plants a stable policy environment is critical for good forest management”, Dr Evison said.
“Four years ago a concerned group of forestry professionals, including members of this Institute, with expertise from across the sector, started a project to write a national policy. The document resulting from their hard work outlines five long-term policies to recognise, protect and enhance the many benefits that trees and forests deliver to the environment, economy, society and culture. The policies cover all forests (from conservation to production), management objectives, tenure types and all species (indigenous and introduced).”
“A good policy provides important principles to guide decisions on legislation and regulation and helps achieve better outcomes. If the policy is well implemented, it will result in healthier, better managed forests which provide much greater value to New Zealand and New Zealanders”, Dr Evison said.
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President, NZ Institute of Forestry