B+LNZ’s concerns about afforestation being heard

// Climate Change

Recent developments in the public debate about the widespread conversion of productive farmland into forestry have shown that B+LNZ’s concerns are being heard – although an acceptable solution is still not in sight.

Pine tree

Last Friday (3 July), the Labour Party announced it would require resource consent for such conversions. While B+LNZ is pleased that Labour has acknowledged this is an issue that needs to be addressed, we don’t believe the Resource Management Act is the appropriate vehicle. Our position is unchanged – the politicians instead need to get the primary legislation right, by introducing limits to the amount of offsetting fossil fuel emitters can do.

It’s worth noting again that B+LNZ isn’t anti-forestry – we strongly support the integration of trees on farms, particularly natives. But wholesale land conversion for carbon farming is already having serious impacts on our sector and our communities, and these will only get worse – all while failing to address the real issue of fossil fuel emissions. We want the Government to work with us on finding a solution that works for everyone, before it’s too late.

We were pleased to see respected independent anthropologist, environmentalist and writer – and former New Zealander of the Year – Dame Anne Salmond back up our stance in an opinion piece this week. You can find it here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/122046242/let-them-eat-wood

Our concerns are being heard but there’s still a lot of work to be done. We encourage farmers to keep raising this issue.