When you need to submit mapping information
You'll need to submit mapping information when you:
- register post-1989 forest land in the ETS
- deforest or remove land that is registered in the ETS
- deforest pre-1990 forest land (even if you were not a participant in the ETS)
- undertake a transfer of post-1989 forest land or a forestry right or lease that relates to part of a carbon accounting area (CAA)
- apply to create an offset forest for pre-1990 forest land.
Key concepts for mapping in the ETS
Carbon accounting areas
Post-1989 forest land must be mapped into CAAs. A CAA is an area of forest land that is used for calculating carbon gains and losses. You earn and pay carbon credits (New Zealand Units, or NZUs) based on changes in the carbon stock of each CAA.
You can choose how many CAAs you want to create when you map your forest land.
- A CAA must be at least 1 hectare.
- You can group separate, unconnected areas of forest land into a single CAA.
Carbon accounting and emissions returns will tend to be simpler if:
- the trees in each CAA are the same age and species
- the entire CAA has the same intended management plan.
If you aren’t sure what your management plan will be, it may be sensible to divide your forest into small CAAs based on tree age and species. Your carbon accounting will be more flexible if your CAAs align with your intended management plan for the forest.
CAAs are split into sub-areas. The amount of carbon stored in a CAA is the sum of the carbon stored in its sub-areas. Emissions returns are filed on a CAA basis, but carbon stock calculations are on a sub-area basis.
A sub-area is an area of forest land that is:
- at least 1 hectare
- composed of forest species of the same age and same forest type
- in a single carbon look-up table region (if the forest type is Pinus radiata).
A shapefile is an electronic file used for geographic information. It includes information on land features, location and attributes, and map specifications. All mapping information must be submitting in the shapefile format.
The mapping process
To map your land, you can use:
- the online mapping tool provided by Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service, which is accessed through the ETS online transaction system
- your own geographic information system (GIS)
- a forest consultant’s GIS
- existing digital forest maps, such as those held by forest owners or managers.
There are 4 steps to mapping forest land for the ETS.
- Get an aerial photo or satellite image that has been prepared for use in mapping (such as an orthorectified aerial image). This must be in the NZTM2000 map projection, and needs to show enough detail that you can map forest boundaries to the geospatial mapping information standard.
- Draw polygons over the aerial photo or satellite image to map the edges of the forest land. If required, draw polygons to segment the CAA boundaries.
- Assign a CAA number to each area of post-1989 forest land, and add attributes such as forest type and planting date.
- Submit this information to Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service in an electronic map file (saved as a shapefile).
Submitting your map
To submit an electronic map to Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service you can:
- map your land using the online tool in the online ETS system and submit it when you are finished
- upload your shapefile as part of the online application process
- send Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service a copy of the shapefile on a CD or flash drive as part of the paper application process.
Our mapping requirements
Geospatial mapping information must meet the mapping requirements set out in the ‘Geospatial Mapping Information Standard‘ and the Climate Change (Forestry Sector) Regulations 2008. Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service cannot register land in the ETS if the mapping requirements are not met.
Download the ‘Geospatial Mapping Information Standard’ [PDF, 348 KB]
The Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service guides ‘How to map forest land in the ETS’ and ‘A guide to mapping forest land in the ETS’ have detailed information on mapping land for the ETS, including how to use the online mapping tool.
Download the ‘How to map forest land in the ETS’ guide [PDF, 1.4 MB]
Download ‘A guide to mapping forest land for the ETS’ [PDF, 787 KB]
Forest land can only join the ETS if Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service can verify the status of the forest land at the relevant dates. If we cannot verify the forest status of the land at any of the relevant dates, or if we cannot be certain the land is eligible, then the land cannot be registered in the ETS.
You should provide as much supporting information as possible, such as seedling orders or planting invoices, and photos or video of the land. These help to verify the land’s eligibility if the aerial and satellite images Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service has access to don’t show enough.
For more information see the ‘Proving eligibility’ section on the page ‘Can you join the Emissions Trading Scheme?’
Who to contact
If you have any questions about mapping forest land for the ETS
- email email@example.com
- call 0800 CLIMATE (0800 25 46 28) and select option 2.