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Tuesday 18 March 2003
International forest experts will gather in Wellington next week (25-27
March) for a meeting about the role of planted forests in sustainable forest
This is only the second such international meeting on this specific topic,
and New Zealand has taken a leading role both times. It is being held under the
umbrella of UN processes to address global deforestation and establish
principles for a consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable
development of the world's forests and related resources. The meeting is being
hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
"New Zealand's success with planted forests and long history of forest
management means we are well placed to promote the benefits this approach has to
creating a balanced use of all types of forests," says Don Wijewardana, MAF
Policy team leader. Mr Wijewardana is responsible for international policy on
forestry and has more than 20 years of forestry experience, having worked as
Chief Economist in the NZ Forest Service and later the Ministry of Forestry.
The 2003 meeting will bring up to 120 people together from around the world.
It begins with a visit to Rotorua, New Zealand's planted forestry heartland and
centre of forest research, before Prime Minister Helen Clark opens the meeting
New Zealand organisations with an interest in forestry will have a ringside
seat at the meeting, and keynote speakers are being provided by the NZ Forest
Industries Council, Greenpeace, Carter Holt Harvey and the NZ Ecological
Foundation. The meeting's steering committee includes representatives from the
NZ Forest Owners Association, the NZ Farm Forestry Association, Canterbury
University, Forest Research, the Federation of Maori Authorities and World
A full programme for the UN Forum on Forests experts meeting is available at
www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/unff-planted-forestry-meeting/index.htm A report and
recommendations from the meeting will be taken to the UN Forum on Forest in
Switzerland in May.
Contact for further information: Don Wijewardana MAF Policy Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry Tel: (04) 498 9870