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First sign up for Permanent Forest Sink Initiative

First sign up for Permanent Forest Sink Initiative

The first approved covenant under the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative has just been registered, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Jim Anderton said the PFSI devolved carbon credits to landowners who planted permanent forests on previously unforested land. Under the initiative, covenants are registered against the land for the next 50 years.

'The initiative is particularly useful for landowners looking to take erosion-prone land out of livestock production, but who wish to still make some money from the land.'

He congratulated Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd on being the first company in New Zealand to join this initiative.

The covenant signed between the Government and Ararewa Station Limited covers 362 hectares of forest located in the Waitotara Valley, Wanganui. The forest comprises 320 hectares of eucalyptus and 42 hectares of radiata pine and was planted in 2007.

The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, which administers the PFSI, has received a number of other expressions of interest that could total an area of approximately 60,000 hectares.

Jim Anderton said landowners now understood that forests were more than just wood.

'Initiatives such as this one present environmental investment opportunities, which are especially useful for erosion-prone and isolated land where harvesting timber can be problematic.'

The PFSI promotes the establishment of permanent forests on previously un-forested land. The initiative is one of Government's sustainable forestry programmes that assist with reducing the likely impacts of climate change.

The initiative creates a business opportunity for landowners and investors who receive carbon units for the increases in carbon stored in their forest. Under the scheme, participants are issued tradable Kyoto Protocol Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) based on a carbon measurement.

Under the PFSI, in addition to earning carbon units, limited harvesting is allowed on a continuous forest canopy cover basis.

More information on the PFSI and other sustainable forestry initiatives is available on the MAF website: _http://www.maf.govt.nz/forestry/pfsi/

ENDS

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