Sunday, 25 March 2018
Kim Carstensen and Sara Gipton visit Timberlands Kaingaroa Estate
As part of Kim Carstensen’s visit to Australia and New Zealand he and FSC Australia CEO Sara Gipton traveled to the Timberlands Kaingaroa Estate, an FSC-certified forestry operation in Aotearoa/New Zealand’s major forest growing region.
The Timberlands Kaingaroa estate is a great example of an FSC forest management operation through the integration of social, environmental, and economic aspects.
The plantation is a partnership between Timberlands, an FSC certificate holder, and land owners. The majority land owners are various Iwi (Māori nations) whose full support Timberlands works to maintain.
The site is blossoming with plant and animal life; it is home to 21 High Conservation Values (HCVs) areas, including a number of rare species and ecosystems. One of these is the endangered New Zealand falcon, whose breeding program has chosen the Whakarewarewa region of the estate for release due to its excellent conditions.
The operation has built strong ties with locals, one way of doing this has been to open itself up to recreational events. Whakarewarewa has been the country’s favourite place to go off-road biking three years in a row. Bicycle and horse riding tracks criss-cross the plantation, and on the day that Kim and Sara visited a school children’s cycling event was taking place.
As Sara reflected, actively involving people in the forestry process brings the lives of communities into forests and socialises the reality that plantations are planted, grown, cut, and re-grown.
Forest Risk Manager, Colin Maunder, says that the plantation is the most productive in the world. Fertile volcanic ash soil and plentiful rain (two meters each year) creates the perfect conditions for growing radiata pine, helping the plantation produce an incredible volume of timber. Currently generating 25 tonnes/HA per year, Timberlands aim to increase this to 50 tonnes/HA per year through intensification and high-tech breeding programs.
The visit was a great opportunity to introduce Kim to the unique ecology that makes up the New Zealand forestry context. Thank you to Colin Maunder (Timberlands) and Cyrielle Durand (FSC NZ) for making the day happen!