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Visit by FSC International Executive Director

Andre de Freitas, FSC International's Executive Director, recently visited New Zealand and attended a NZ forest industry presentation and tour. A long-standing issue with FSC in New Zealand has been the conflict arising around chemical herbicide use, principally hexazinone and terbuthalyzine. Currently under temporary derogations for controlled use in FSC certified forests in New Zealand, there is a fear that a possible future complete ban on chemical application could potentially make forestry economically unviable in many areas.

NZ forest industry representatives took the opportunity to take FSC's Executive Director Andre de Freitas (third in from left) on a field tour to show him the environmental credibility of NZ production forestry.

The visit by Mr de Freitas was an opportunity to discuss this issue and present NZ's case for continued controlled chemical use. At the conclusion of the visit there was a sense that FSC was receptive to the unique issues and challenges facing commercial production forestry in New Zealand and confidence that a workable solution will be found for continued FSC coverage. This would include an industry-coordinated research effort to which PF Olsen is a major contributor via Future Forest Research's Environmental theme.

On a related matter, FSC Principles and Criteria have recently been reviewed. Whilst there are some issues, the new Principles and Criteria show a general improvement in terms of recognition of the realities of responsible forest management in New Zealand.

To learn more about FSC internationally, see http://www.fsc.org/.