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Forest industry endorses extension

Forest industry endorses extension

The forest industry has welcomed the decision to give the public an extra month to make comments on the draft national standards for the sustainable management of exotic plantation forests.

The deadline for submissions is now 7 March 2003.

Commenting on the decision, NZ Forest Industries Council chief executive Stephen Jacobi and NZ Forest Owners Association chief executive Rob McLagan said the development of national standards was extremely important for NZ plantation forestry.

“It demonstrates to our international customers that NZ forest products come from sustainably managed forests,” Mr Jacobi said.

“Consumers of wood products – like many other products – are rightfully demanding the choice to purchase environmentally friendly products. New Zealand is well-placed to provide this assurance.

“The completion of the national standards will further strengthen our environmental credentials.”

Mr McLagan said New Zealand’s exotic plantations were already well-managed as a result of existing legislative and industry imposed standards. The adoption of national standards agreed by all stakeholders will result in further improvement – to the benefit of the environment and customers.

“The industry strongly supports the development of internationally recognised standards for our exotic forests. We encourage all interested persons to get their comments in by 7 March,” he said.

The draft standards have been developed by a widely representative stakeholder committee, said Mr McLagan.

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