INDEPENDENT NEWS

Sustainable Management Advice From NZ To The World

Published: Fri 7 Dec 2001 01:47 PM
Press release from Brian Swale, campaigner for sustainable forest management.
Sustainable management advice from NZ to the world.
Don’t you just love politics?
And the sheer brilliance of our Prime Minister?
She's off to take part in an international conference on Sustainable Development for Third-world countries, to help them stave off developing endemic terrorism due to being poor. Advice from one developing third world country to others.
This, coming from the person whose first major action on coming into office was to stop the best examples of sustainable management of indigenous forest New Zealand has seen, and which are a leading-edge working example for the rest of the world. Sustainable management in a region of New Zealand that needed the income and the jobs. The West Coast of the South Island; New Zealand’s smallest regional population and one of the poorest. And it so happens that natural forest is the perpetually sustainably manageable resource the West Coast region has in super-abundance (thanks to its climate), more than more other parts of New Zealand.
But no, to satisfy voters in the most wealthy urban electorates and an admitted thirty-years personal goal of negativity, this wise resource management process had to be stopped dead in its tracks.
Hopefully some of the international representatives at this meeting will be well-enough informed to ask the questions needed to expose the quality of the advice.
What's the biblical saying? something about trying to fix the speck of dust in your neighbour's eye but being unable to see the log-jam in your own eye?
And this seeming double-talk is not confined to our PM. I am informed that the co-leader of the Greens, in a discussion with Paul Holmes on TV about the Genetic Modification enquiry said something like “we don't need this type of future. We ought to be working toward sustainable management."
Considering that Ms Fitzsimons was a strong supporter of the PM in halting the West Coast sustainable forest management plans, this is a totally amazing statement.
New Zealand and the World need and deserve better than such double standards and double-talk. Now more than ever before.
For beneficial sustainable management of natural resources, real understanding and long-term views are needed instead of talking in cliches and using the natural resources as pawns in short-sighted political games. Forestry has been treated this way for at least the last 100 years in New Zealand. And that is no credit to our politicians.
Brian Swale is a forestry professional who supports the practice of environmentally sound sustainable forestry. He can be contacted at http://www.caverock.net.nz/~bj/beech/ and 03-326-7447

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