Wednesday, 04 May 2022 15:55

Forest regeneration bigger job creator than sheep and beef

Written by  Staff Reporters
A new study claims carbon forestry creates 25% more local jobs than sheep and beef farming. A new study claims carbon forestry creates 25% more local jobs than sheep and beef farming.

A new study has found the process of actively managed carbon forestry creates 25% more local jobs than sheep and beef farming on low productivity land.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers report found that of the three land uses considered, transitioning from exotic to indigenous forests creates the most local jobs with an estimated 6.3 local full time employment (FTEs) per 1,000 hectares, compared to 4.7 for sheep and beef farming on low productivity land and 2.0 for permanent carbon forestry.

The larger number of jobs created by transitioning from exotic to indigenous forests were as a result of the additional management activities required to achieve the regeneration.

The Employment impact of different rural land uses report updates employment analysis prepared for Ministry of Forestry by PwC in 2020, utilising more up-to-date information and focusing on the specific set of land uses considered, as well as local employment rather than that created elsewhere.

Climate Forestry Association spokesperson Dr Sean Weaver says the report provides new insights into a sector that is a valuable source of employment for rural New Zealand.

“This latest data highlights that the process of active management for transition from exotics to natives is not only good for the environment but is also an important source of additional employment for rural communities,” says Weaver.

“It provides new opportunities for a diverse range of employment opportunities in forest establishment and management, silviculture and pest control that complement many aspects of the work available in the traditional farming sector.”

“The report reinforces data we have through my own operations at Ekos, as well as others in the sector, highlighting that the number of jobs created runs counter to the narrative that carbon forestry is removing jobs from the rural sector.”

“This is one of the Association's concerns with the Government’s proposal to exclude exotics from the permanent category of the ETS,” says Weaver.

“Alongside the significant risks to the success of New Zealand’s climate change actions, removing the opportunity for active management to transition exotic forests to natives would undermine the opportunity for the industry to enhance rural employment across New Zealand while supporting a wide range of complementary economic benefits.”

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