21 Mar 2015

Call to reduce deforestation in NZ

1:41 pm on 21 March 2015

The Forest Owners Association is calling on the Government to do more to discourage deforestation in New Zealand.

The Forest Owners Association is calling on the Government to do more to discourage deforestation in New Zealand.

The Forest Owners Association is calling on the Government to do more to discourage deforestation in New Zealand. Photo: 123RF

Today is the United Nations International Day of Forests, and the association said the Government is failing to recognise the role they play in combatting climate change.

Chief executive, David Rhodes, said about 10000 hectares was deforested in New Zealand last year, as owners pursued more lucrative means of using the land, such as dairying.

He says to reverse that trend, the Government could do more to raise the price of carbon credits from about $6 each to $15.

Mr Rhodes said that would encourage owners to retain or replant their forests.

Meanwhile, an extensive American-led study has found 70 percent of the world's remaining forested land is less than 1 kilometre from a forest edge.

The report, by two dozen researchers on five continents, has used data covering the past 35 years.

The Amazon and Congo basins are the main areas where vast tracts of forests remain far from human activity, according to maps published with the study in the journal Science Advances.

In Asia, New Guinea, Russia, Canada and the Nordic nations, human activity has steadily encroached on other huge forests.

The leader of the study, Nick Haddad of North Carolina University, said the signs are all downwards.

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