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Farm Foresters Defer Forest Accord Decision

Farm Foresters Defer Decision To Leave Nz Forest Accord

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FARM FORESTERS DEFER DECISION TO LEAVE NZ FOREST ACCORD


At the recent New Zealand Farm Forestry Annual Conference in Balclutha, members voted to remain within the New Zealand Forest Accord and to discuss their concerns with other parties to the Accord.

The New Zealand Forest Accord was negotiated and signed by production forest interests and a range of environmental organisations in 1991.It has been seen as an historic landmark agreement between these parties and used as a basis for other subsequent agreements.

The original signatories to the NZ Forest Accord included the New Zealand Forest Owners Association, the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, ECO (Environmental & Conservation Organisations of NZ) and other environmental organisations.

The primary objectives of the NZ Forest Accord had been to provide for the protection of areas of native forest within areas of exotic plantations, to support the sustainable management of natural indigenous forest, to acknowledge the value of exotic plantations in reducing the pressure on natural forests, and to provide a forum for debate and conflict resolution between the parties.

However, members of Farm Forestry, particularly those managing natural indigenous forest, have become increasingly concerned about the unilateral and incremental change in position of the environmental signatories who now seek an end to all sustainable indigenous forest management.

“The policy shifts by these environmental organisations are seen as being contrary to the conditions outlined in the Accord and may be viewed as an attempt to undermine the sustainable forest management industry. “It’s time we sat round the table and sorted this out. We would rather discuss our concerns with all other signatories and attempt to reach an understanding rather than simply withdrawing from the Accord.” the President of the Farm Forestry Association, Mr Mike Halliday said.

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