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Forestry vital aid in climate change

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 4 July 2006

United Future: Forestry vital aid in climate change

United Future MP Gordon Copeland, the party's spokesperson on both climate change and forestry, today welcomed the strong emphasis on forestry in the "Climate Change Work Programme" announced today by Minister David Parker.

"New forests need to be planted and Government needs to give a strong lead," said Mr Copeland.

"In addition, United Future has long advocated a "no-regrets" programme which would see millions of trees planted around rivers and lakes and on erosion or flood prone land.

"Forests not only sequester carbon (via "carbon sinks") thus mitigating climate change but they also create a range of other direct benefits of both an environmental and economic nature.

"Since nitrate is food for trees, plantings around rivers and lakes will reduce agricultural run-off thus enhancing water quality.

"When planted on marginal land they reduce erosion and flooding to the benefit of low lying agricultural and horticultural activities. They enhance the beauty of the landscape thus contributing positively to New Zealand's clean, green image.

"United Future also supports the progression of the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative for similar reasons.

"Both harvestable plantation forests and permanent forests have important parts to play.

"In short, these initiatives are non-controversial and should be progressed by Government immediately," said Mr Copeland.


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