The New Zealand forest industry is based on highly productive sustainable plantations comprised predominantly of Pinus radiata and Douglas-fir managed on sawlog regimes. The well-established plantation industry comprises over 1.7 million hectares, of which the management of over 1 million hectares is FSC certified, and makes up more than 99% of New Zealand’s total forest production by volume. The preference for plantation over natural forestry production is the result of deliberate social policy that allows most natural forests to be preserved for biodiversity and recreational purposes. Plantation forestry is a significant contributor to New Zealand’s economy representing 3% of GDP with export earnings of over $5NZ billion per year and employing (in forestry and first stage harvesting) over 20,000 people.
The New Zealand plantation industry is generally considered an environmentally responsible land use with recognised benefits in water quality, carbon sequestration, recreation and biodiversity. However, this is contingent on maintaining good practices, which are promoted within the national standard. Good practice is also underpinned by a robust legal framework and industry specific agreements and guides such as the Environmental Code of Practice for Plantation Forestry, Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Forest Operations, Forest Accord, Principles for Commercial Plantation Forest Management in New Zealand, Forest Road Engineering Manual, Log Transport Safety Accord and Climate Change Accord. All of which provided a strong existing platform with stakeholder involvement to formulate a national standard.
Further information on forest certification in New Zealand can be found online at: https://nz.fsc.org/en-nz
To download the FSC New Zealand plantations standards click on the document below: