Definition of Forest Land

MAF held an informative workshop for PF Olsen to assist us with understanding the Emissions Trading Scheme for forestry. One part of the workshop was "How to define forest land". This is very important for people to understand as it will affect whether they can enter the ETS, or whether they have a deforestation liability. Many situations will be clear-cut. However, some situations, such as establishment of a commercial forest on reverting scrubland, may not be so obvious. The following photos were presented by MAF to assist with interpretation.

Definition of forest land: if forest species capable of canopy cover of more than 30% per hectare and growing to over 5m in height are growing amongst the gorse (how you know this is another question!), this may be classified as forest land. In that case if established in a commercial forest after 1989, it would still not qualify for post-89 forest land.


Definition of forest land: if this land contains some reverting forest species but regularly applied management practises (e.g., grazing or spraying) prevent it from ever reaching the forest land thresholds, it is post-89 forest land.


Definition of forest land: low coprosma, tauhinu and other shrubs are not forest species because they will not grow to exceed 5m in height on this site. This example is not considered forest land.


Definition of forest land: Shelterbelts if less than 30m wide are not forest land - unless contiguous with a forest area that is >30m wide and =1 ha. This has implications of shelterbelt design and eligibility to enter the ETS and claim carbon credits.