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Clarification of Post-1989 forest

We have discovered some confusion about what is post-1989 forest. You must look at when the land was originally planted, not when the current tree crop was planted. If it is second rotation it probably isn't post-1989 forest even though the current crop may have been planted after 1989. If the original planting took place before 1990, then it is actually pre-1990 forest land and is not eligible to join the ETS and earn carbon credits for the increase in carbon stocks. Looking at it another way, to qualify as post-1989 forest, the current tree crop must have been planted on non-forest land (not harvested cutover) after 1989.

However, if you deforested (i.e. converted your forest land to another land use) between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 2007 and subsequently planted it in trees again at a later date, this would qualify as post-1989 forest.

Below is the definition of post 1989 forest land from MAF.

Forest land that:

  • was not in forest land on 31 December 1989; or
  • was forest land on 31 December 1989 but was deforested (that is, converted to another land use) between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 2007; or
  • was pre-1990 forest land, other than exempt land:
    • that was deforested on or after 1 January 2008; and
    • in respect of which any liability to surrender units arising in relation to deforestation has been satisfied; or
  • was exempt land:
    • that has been deforested; and
    • in respect of which the number of units that would have been required to be surrendered in relation to deforestation, had the land not been exempt land, have been surrendered.

Both exotic and indigenous forest species are eligible to participate in the ETS as post-1989 forest land.