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18 December 2006
A significant forestry-planting programme involving thousands of hectares is
one of the options being put forward to reduce New Zealand's carbon
The Government is asking for consultation on proposals for agriculture and
forestry, in its comprehensive approach to tackling the threat of climate
The Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Jim Anderton, and Climate Change
Minister David Parker today released the discussion document Sustainable
Land Management and Climate Change, which outlines policy options to
address the risks and opportunities of climate change in the land management
Mr Anderton says climate change has huge implications for the country and,
in particular, for farmers and foresters, who make up the land management
"Our economy depends on agriculture and forestry. These sectors
will bear the brunt of the economic and environmental impacts of climate
change. Action needs to be taken on a number of fronts to address these
issues and support economic growth.
"Climate change presents a very real threat not only to the way we use
our land, but to our international markets. Already there is talk in
Europe of border taxes on goods from countries that aren't taking effective
action to address climate change. It's in our economic interest to be
part of the global response to climate change. We need to take action to
reduce the risks."
Climate Change Minister David Parker says that over time, all sectors of the
economy would have to play their part in doing something about climate
change. "We recognise that some sectors can take action more quickly
to reduce emissions than others. But even those like farming, which are
constrained by what they can do without affecting productivity, will be
expected to take some actions to reduce emissions - starting now."
"We have been consulting with the land management sector and they are
well aware of the broad range of possibilities available to us. We're
putting all the options on the table through this discussion paper, and
it's now a matter of getting further feedback, to create a package which
achieves the best results for our economy and for climate change."
The discussion document identifies four key areas where options are
presented for consultation: adapting to climate change; reducing emissions and
creating carbon sinks; capitalising on business opportunities; and working
Some specific options are presented for feedback, especially in the area of
reducing emissions, Mr Parker said. "In that area, some hard choices
have to be made, and we are looking for specific guidance from farmers and
foresters as to how to achieve tangible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,
while ensuring these vital sectors continue to thrive."
"For example, we are proposing an afforestation grant, to encourage the
planting of Kyoto-compliant forests.
"Not only would this enhance our carbon sinks, it would give a boost to
the forestry sector, and provide major co-benefits in relation to erosion
control, flood protection, improved water quality and biodiversity.
"We are looking at a tradeable permits scheme to combat deforestation,
and considering the devolution of carbon credits for new forests.
"In agriculture, we have a 'carrot and stick' approach - where
we propose helping farmers do what they can to reduce emissions, through
incentives and penalties.
"Nitrification inhibitors have been successfully developed by New
Zealand researchers, and are now available for widespread use. We have
set out proposals to encourage their uptake, which will both reduce nitrous
oxide emissions and improve water quality while maintaining farm
"The proposed plan of action is also looking to make the most of
business opportunities arising from the global focus on climate
The Government is proposing that the sectors and Government work together to
develop a Plan of Action identifying goals and activities for dealing
with climate change issues.
No decisions have yet been made on the final policy. The policy
package will be discussed with the sector before decisions are taken next
Meetings and hui on the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change
discussion document will be held around the country in February and March next
year. Submissions are due by 30 March 2007.
The discussion document is available online at
Paper copies can be requested from the Ministry of Agriculture and
For more information contact:
Liz Grant, press secretary to Jim Anderton (04) 471 9172 or 021 227 9172
Jane O'Loughlin, press secretary to David Parker (04) 471 9855 or 021