The climate change report just issued by Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton highlights the
benefits of planting native trees, say native tree campaigners Project Crimson.
Project Crimson chief executive Adele Fitzpatrick says the report, which proposes a two-pronged approach to using
forests as a carbon sink, reinforces the value of native trees for storing carbon dioxide.
“It makes little sense in New Zealand to plant pinus radiata as a carbon sink. Pines are planted with the intention of
harvest in 25 years, which obviously limits their value as a long-term option for sequestering carbon, as Simon Upton
Ms Fitzpatrick says the trees that should be planted as carbon sinks in New Zealand are native, with the intention of
leaving them as permanent forest.
“They’re not only the best option for off-setting emissions over the mid and long term; they have a special place in the
hearts and minds of New Zealanders and in this country’s environment.
“New Zealanders don’t want to see their landscape covered by a single, exotic species, and nor do the tourists who come
to this country.”
Project Crimson has launched a programme called “Trees That Count
” which encourages individuals and businesses to plant native trees both to help sequester emissions and to enhance the
Trees That Count is essentially a digital marketplace set up to link those who want to plant native trees with those who
see value in funding that activity. Funders could be businesses wanting to demonstrate their sustainability, individuals
or groups wanting to make a contribution to their community, or nurseries which propagate natives.
Such groups make donations to Trees That Count’s “tree pool
” which calculates how many trees are available at any given time. Organisations wishing to plant trees, such as
schools, local councils, iwi or community groups, can then apply to Trees That Count for free native trees from the pool
Once allocated, the trees are planted, their location is accurately mapped and recorded, and their progress is monitored
on an on-going basis; rather than “planting and hoping”.
“Our goal is to see the planting of 200 million native trees as a first step. We hope that this new report will
encourage more people, communities and businesses to plant natives as the best option for helping New Zealand meets its
international climate change commitments, and for enhancing our natural environment” Ms Fitzpatrick says.