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New Zealand Wants FSC 

New Zealand Wants FSC 

Confirmation yesterday that the proposed New Zealand national standard for sustainable plantation forest management has been designed to meet the certification criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As www.nzforestry.co.nz reported a week ago, a draft national standard covering environmental sustainability, health and safety conditions for workers, public access to plantation forests, protection of Maori cultural values and employment of local people has been released for public comment. Forest Owners' Association chief executive, Rob McLagan says New Zealand's plantation management standards are already among the best in the world. "However, it is important for the industry and for the country that these standards are uniformly high and show continuous improvement."
FSC endorsement will be sought when the standard is finalised. But first the document has to get through nearly three months of public scrutiny, with Maori and environmental stakeholders expected to have strong opposing opinions on some of the built-in FSC criteria. It will also be interesting to see how the country's biggest forest owner - Carter Holt Harvey - deals with FSC being the benchmark for the standard. It is well known that the CHH parent, International Paper, won't have a bar of the Forest Stewardship Council.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Forest Industries Council chief executive, Stephen Jacobi says the national standard will help ensure market acceptance for New Zealand forest products. "An assurance of sustainability will appeal to the consumers and retailers in the United States and Europe who are asking for wood from sustainably managed forests. Within New Zealand, a national standard will also improve the industry's environmental performance."

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