Regional council registers for carbon credits

Wellington is one of four regional council forest areas that has been registered for carbon credits.

Wellington Regional Council has applied to the Ministry for Primary Industries to register a total of 442 hectares in Battle Hill Forest Park, Cannons Creek and Stratton Street in Belmont Regional Park and at Pararangarahu Lakes in East Harbour Regional Park.

The carbon credits will be registered through the Government’s Permanent Forest Sink Initiative (PFSI). The PFSI provides landowners with the opportunity to earn carbon credits and includes a covenant between the Government and the landowner.

Regional council strategic planner David Lee said the Permanent Forest sink scheme was chosen because it had more credibility than the emissions trading scheme and it was also aimed at land that has reverted permanently from farmland into forest.

To qualify the land had to be covenanted for at least 50 years, he said.

The forests involved were a mixture of pines but there were also natives trees, he said.

”The long-term strategy is to turn quite a lot of farm land into native forests.”

Regional council social and cultural well-being committee chairman Nigel Wilson said the application was an opportunity to make a positive contribution to global climate change efforts.

”By increasing the capacity of our regional parks to capture and store carbon, we are playing our part in a global response to the impacts of climate change.”