Forestry Field Measurement Approach approved for mid-year launch

March 23, 2011

New regulations will see large forest owners in the Emissions Trading Scheme using personalised carbon measurement information for their emissions returns, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says.

The Field Measurement Approach (FMA) will be compulsory for all forest owners with 100 hectares or more in either the ETS or Permanent Forest Sinks Initiative (PFSI).

MAF Sustainable Programmes Director Clive Lilley says the basic design of the scheme is the same as was consulted on late last year, and more details, including regulations and guidance information for landowners will be coming soon.

Regulations are expected by May, and will come into force three months later, meaning a likely August start date.

The personalised look-up tables generated by the FMA will be in use for the final emissions returns of the 2008 – 2012 Commitment Period, which are due by 31 March 2013.

Mr Lilley says the FMA allows for greater accuracy and fairness than the current look-up table approach, which is based on nationally or regionally-averaged forest data.

“The FMA uses techniques and expertise forest owners already employ to estimate the volume of timber in their trees.

“Owners of forests which are absorbing carbon more quickly than the average rate will get more credits than they currently do, while the Crown is at less risk of giving out more credits nationally than are warranted by the carbon being removed from the atmosphere.”

Mr Lilley says smaller forests will continue to use the existing look-up tables in the regulations because the additional compliance costs of measurement would be disproportionate to the income generated from the sale of carbon credits.

For more information, contact:
Iain Butler, senior communications adviser, 04 894 0471; 029 894 0471;


Last Updated: 23 March 2011

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