New Zealand is extremely fortunate to have in place rigorous and detailed legislation governing the management and utilization of natural resources.
- In the Forests Act, sustainable forest management is described as:
"The management of an area of indigenous forest land in a way that maintains the ability of the forest growing on that land to continue to provide a full range of products and amenities in perpetuity while retaining the forest's natural values"
- Part II, section 5 of the Resource Management Act 1991 defines “sustainable management” as:
“managing the use, development and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural well-being and for their health and safety while- sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources (excluding minerals) to meet the reasonable foreseeable needs of future generations, and safe-guarding the life supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems and avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse affects of activities on the environment.”
Our forest management systems incorporate lessons learned from over 50 years of experience and research. The system follows a philosophy of productive protection and accounts for conservation and environmental values by recognizing the importance of:
- wildlife protection
- plant protection
- water protection
- historic site protection
- landscape protection
- recreational protection
Our sustainable management system involves carefully selecting and harvesting small variable groups of trees of similar size and occurrence to natural forest replacement patterns. Annual harvest rates are such that every year the volume of harvested trees is less than the volume grown naturally.
Our operations are monitored and audited by Ministry of Forestry officials and are in compliance with Part IIIa of the Forests Act and our field staff regularly consult with the Department of Conservation for updates on conservation research.
Independent 3rd Party Certification.
Currently NZSFP does not support the 3rd party certification of its forest management systems as the attainment of such certification is prohibitive to the scale of the business. Instead we contend that the heavily regulated system we operate under guarantees legality and ensures producers are at least meeting definitions of sustainability as outlined under the Forests Act and The Resource Management Act. A statement of legality and compliance from the Ministry of Forestry can be downloaded to verify this. View Statement (PDF)
Despite not have independent certification the Forever Beech forest resource was documented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as one of the twenty examples of exelemplary forest management in the Asia Pacific region. http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/ae542e/ae542e00.htm
NZSFP is currently working through application processes with The New Zealand Eco-labeling Trust to attain Environmental Choice labeling http://www.enviro-choice.org.nz/ for its forever beech flooring brand.