Carbon Farming Natives Workshops

With the burgeoning mānuka honey industry and carbon prices increasing 450 percent in two years, earning an income from planting native trees has never been more lucrative. A series of workshops next week will inform landowners about the opportunities of carbon farming indigenous species and pitfalls to look out for.

“The great thing about planting natives is it can help the bees, it helps erosion control, it helps carbon capture and it helps restore indigenous biodiversity” said organiser Manu Caddie.

Hikurangi Enterprises, the charitable company Mr Caddie works for, has been supporting a number of land owners on the East Coast to investigate alternative land use options. “There is still good money in farming and pine plantations but land owners are thinking a bit wider too. Hikurangi Enterprises doesn’t have a particular industry or species we recommend but do want to provide opportunities for locals can make informed decisions and get access to the best advice available.”

Forestry consultant Vern Harris from Malborough has over 50 years experience in commercial tree planting in New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific. Over the last eight years Mr Harris has provided advice to landowners and companies interested in planting trees for NZ Carbon Units. Mr Harris will provide an overview of the Emissions Trading Scheme and the ways carbon credits are calculated and traded.

Nikki Searancke is chairperson of Nuhiti Q, a land block near Tokomaru Bay will talk about the carbon trading deal the land trust recently entered into with New Zealand company Gull Oil. That deal will see $220,000 for carbon units paid over two years to help with mānuka planting and fence repairs.

An overview of the Erosion Control Funding Programme and Afforestation Grants Scheme offered by the Ministry for Primary Industries including opportunities to uptake the funding available for native plantings.

A presentation by forestry research organisation Scion will include an overview of their work on carbon sequestration, breeding programmes and the economics of planting natives.

“We’re keen to progress recent discussions about a network of native nurseries in communities along the Coast and will be sharing some of those plans at the Ruatoria and Tolaga Bay workshops” said Mr Caddie.

An international airline with high carbon emissions is also planning to participate in the workshops to explore opportunities for partnering with East Coast land owners interested in planting native trees.

The free workshops will be held 10.30am on Friday at the Hati Nati Café in Ruatoria and 3.30pm in Tolaga Bay and on Saturday 12.30pm at Waikanae Surf Club. 

For more information contact Manu Caddie: Tel. 0274 202 957.

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