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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2022) 67(1): 3–11
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Feature article
Investment barriers to indigenous forest climate solutions

Sean Weaver *,1

1 Founder and CEO, Ekos, Christchurch. Email: sean@ekos.co.nz
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Abstract In a climate emergency, a country needs to do three things: 1) reduce carbon emissions, 2) enhance carbon removals, and 3) adapt to a changing climate. Forestry plays an important role in all three components of this agenda. Reducing deforestation and forest degradation will help to reduce emissions in land use, land-use change and the forestry sector (LULUCF), which according to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (IPCC, 2014) is responsible for 20-25% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Reforestation delivers carbon emission removals by LULUCF sinks. Permanent reforestation and continuous cover forest management are important components of building climate-resilient landscapes. The New Zealand Climate Change Commission (CCC) has promoted the use of exotic and indigenous forests in this country’s climate action response agenda (CCC, 2021), emphasising the many biodiversity and climate resilience co-benefits delivered by indigenous forests. The investment barriers to carbon-financed indigenous reforestation are plentiful. They include slow carbon credit production rates (and consequent low-carbon revenues), expensive forest establishment costs, bureaucratic delays, and now a government policy proposing to ban the use of exotic species in the permanent forest category of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), including exotic species used to fund indigenous reforestation in private investment models. This paper explores these investment barriers through the lens of a climate emergency.
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