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Markets For Indigenous Forest Produce

Researchers Pursue Markets For Indigenous Forest Produce

Researchers are looking for new markets to sell our indigenous forest products, so that our Maori owned forests become more sustainable.

Led by Nora Devoe of Canterbury University the research has been looking at increasing owner empowerment and long-term asset management.

Sustainable forest management aims to improve the long-term social, economic, and ecological results from our forests and this research will increase self-sufficiency and prosperity of Maori.

"Much of the work relates to forest owners in general through the improved performance of sustainable forest management in social, economic, and ecological terms," said Dr Devoe. "Our focus has been on providing sustainable management plans which are appropriate within Tikanga Maori." The research, an investment of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, has involved collaboration among Maori and non-Maori forest owners.

"Dr Steven Olson, a community forestry expert, has been hired full-time to examine marketing channels and develop export options for New Zealand silver beech," said Dr Devoe.

"Our studies confirmed that many land owners see sustainable management as too expensive when compared with clear felling.

"This is due to the very confined domestic market and lack of market share overseas."

In order to examine the effects on market access, the research team, with collaborator Gowan Hill Trust, recently pursued and achieved the first Forest Stewardship Council certification of a New Zealand indigenous forest.

Timber from this forest is now being marketed into Europe via Asian manufacturers.

For further information:

Madeleine Setchell, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Tel 04 9177 806, Mobile 025 40 60 40,,

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