Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


All forests to be monitored for foreign bugs

FOREST GROWERS LEVY TRUST (INC)
MEDIA RELEASE
13 February 2013

All forests to be monitored for foreign bugs


All forest plantations will be brought into a nationwide forest health surveillance scheme if next month’s referendum of forest growers is successful.

“A yes vote in the referendum will see a small compulsory levy applied to harvested logs. Broadening the reach of the surveillance scheme will be one of the big benefits,” says Paul Nicholls, a Forest Growers Levy Trust board member.

“Forests owned by members of the Forest Owners Association have been monitored for exotic pests and diseases for more than 50 years. But new bugs don’t discriminate. We need to be monitoring forests on the basis of a scientific assessment of risk, not because they are owned by a member of an industry association.”

Increased international trade and air travel mean that biosecurity threats are spreading more rapidly around the world. Among them are pests and diseases that could devastate our plantation and native forests.

Mr Nicholls strongly advises forest growers to vote yes in the referendum.

“That will bring the vast majority of our commercial forests into the forest health surveillance scheme and other programmes that benefit the industry as a whole. Relative to the massive financial losses that could result from a major pest becoming established in New Zealand, the levy will be very affordable insurance.”

An independent review of the scheme in 2007 described it as internationally unprecedented and sophisticated. But the authors, two internationally recognised forest health experts, noted there was limited surveillance of farm forests and the conservation estate.

Mr Nicholls says “first night surveys” by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) at forest road-ends and other locations where overseas visitors are likely to embark on a tramp, or open their packs on the first night, have since addressed the gap in respect to conservation forests.

Some self-monitoring tools have also been developed for owners of farm forests. But this is no substitute for a comprehensive scheme involving all plantation forests, he says.

The forest surveillance scheme involves annual aerial and drive-through surveys of participating forests, with on-the-ground physical follow-up checks of anything that looks unusual. In addition there is intensive on-the-ground monitoring in high-risk areas.

Mr Nicholls says MPI Biosecurity is not involved in the monitoring of commercial forests. It intensively monitors high-risk non-forest areas such as parks near ports and international airports. He describes the MPI and forest surveillance programmes as complementary.

“The challenge now is to ensure all forests are included, with funding from the proposed levy.”

The Forest Voice referendum is being held in March. For details, visit www.forestvoice.org.nz or phone 0800 500 168.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

What Winter? Temperature Records Set For June 20-22

The days around the winter soltice produced a number of notably warm tempertaures. More>>

Conservation Deal: New Kākāpō Recovery Partnership Welcomed

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the new kakapo recovery partnership between DOC and Meridian Energy is great news for efforts to save one of New Zealand’s most beloved birds. More>>

ALSO:

Tech Sector Report: Joyce Warns Asian Tech Investors View NZ As Hobbits And Food

Speaking in Wellington at the launch of a report showcasing the value of the technology sector to the New Zealand economy, Joyce said more had to be done to tell the country's technology stories overseas. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaglommeration: APN Gets OIO Approval For Demerger Plan

APN News & Media has received Overseas Investment Office approval for its plan to split out its NZME unit ahead of a potential merger with rival Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations. More>>

New Paper: Ninety-Day Trial Period Has No Impact On Firms' Hiring

The introduction of a 90-day trial period has had no impact on hiring by New Zealand companies although they are now in widespread use, according to researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Exits Equity Stake, Remains As Operator

Serco has sold its equity stake in the company that holds the contract to design, build and run Wiri Prison in South Auckland but continues as sub-contractor to operate the facility. More>>

GDP: NZ Economy Grows Faster-Than-Forecast 0.7%

New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter of 2016 as construction expanded at the quickest rate in two years. The kiwi dollar jumped after the data was released. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news