MfE announces new national standard for plantation forestry

New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment has announced  a new nationwide set of environmental rules for managing New Zealand’s 1.7 million hectares of plantation forestry.

The National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry covers eight core plantation forestry activities: afforestation, pruning and thinning to waste, earthworks, river crossings, forestry quarrying, harvesting, mechanical land preparation and replanting. Councils may apply stricter rules in special circumstances where local conditions require a more restrictive approach.

The standard, which comes into force on 1 May, 2018, was developed jointly by the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment. Support and guidance will be provided to councils, foresters and key stakeholders to ensure an effective rollout.

A key change arising from the new regulations is the development of three new tools for managing the environmental impacts from forestry, covering the issues of erosion, wilding pines and fish spawning.

Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest primary industry. Environment Minister Nick Smith says a national standard for plantation forestry will improve the productivity of the forestry sector by applying consistent environmental standards to reduce operational costs.

For more information: Plantation Forestry NES – Overview of Regulations.pdf

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