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Carbon Farming Newsletter

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Issue 10, May 2011

Hi,

Welcome to the Carbon Farming Group newsletter.  In this issue we summarise our presentation to the ETS 2011 Review Committee and provide details of upcoming workshops.

CFG is back in the CBD

Clayton is pleased to be back in the CFG office

We have moved back into our office on the fringes of Christchurch CBD after spending three months in a spare room at Clayton’s Mum’s place – thanks Mum.  The office we lease is only two years old and has remained structurally sound but the ground below suffered a lot of liquefaction and came in the back door and made the car park look like a BMX track. However after the lifting of cordons, steam cleaning the carpets, replacing broken windows and fixing doors we are back in business. 

 

ETS 2011 Review - Pannel Presentation Summary

As reported in the last newsletter, the Carbon Farming Group was invited to appear in front of the ETS 2011 Review panel.

 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide feedback on our presentation. We read all the submissions and whilst some were outside our remit, we incorporated as much as we could to present to the review panel. We also included feedback received through the website or our 0800 number.

 

Below is the summary we gave to the ETS 2011 Review Panel. 

  • We have observed an increasing appetite for accurate, neutral and above all understandable information on the ETS.  Spikes in demand appear to occur alongside media commentary.
  • We believe there is a significant level of continuing confusion – and related inaction – as to the workings and timing of the ETS caused (in part) by mixed messaging from relevant Ministers, conflicting commentary from industry and lobby groups on either side, the ongoing review processes itself, and perceived or real difficulty in sourcing clear and credible information (including from MAF).
  • In addition, the underlying rationale for the ETS (to meet NZ’s international obligations, and to motivate change through economic incentive) appears to be largely overlooked and/or undervalued.
  • Some productive landowners are moving to take advantage of forestry sequestration to generate income and offset their emissions, and perform on-farm changes to make energy efficiency gains… however … the uncertainties seem to be acting as a barrier to some farm and forest owners in entering their plantings into the ETS, or committing to change in equipment or practices.
  • As a side note, consideration of planting’s co-benefits seems to be increasing (i.e. erosion control, biodiversity etc).
  • Some correspondents have noted an apparently limited range of emission reduction technologies, and signalled desire for clarity from Science establishments on emerging, purportedly more sustainable practices.
  • Overall - there is a pervasive desire for fair treatment – cost emissions but value sequestrations (or explain why they’re not acceptable).
  • We have observed that once a moderate level of understanding is obtained (regarding quantum of financial impact and reporting demand) the level of concern diminishes and – generally – moves to offset (forestry) and reduce (efficiency measures) are undertaken.

The presentation was well received by the review panel. We were also asked to clarify specific agriculture and forestry measures under the current ETS.

 

The ETS Review panel is due to report to the Minister for Climate Change Issues by the 30th of June, with a draft being released on the 6th of June.

 

If you would like to know more about the ETS 2011 Review please visit - http://www.climatechange.govt.nz/emissions-trading-scheme/ets-review-2011/statement-for-consultation.html  

Three more years of funding

After a detailed review and a well constructed proposal we are very pleased to confirm that the Carbon Farming Group has received the commitment of an additional three years of funding from the Tindall Foundation.

 

We see this as a reflection of the good work the Carbon Farming Group is doing, and the ongoing need for independent advice on climate change issues to the rural sector.

 

The trustees of the Carbon Farming Group would like to also thank our users/audience for constructive feedback and continued use of our website and other material.  The month of April has seen us break the 5000 barrier for the number of unique visitors to our website.

As can be seen on the graph above, the Carbon Farming Group is continually receiving more and more visitors, year on year. The number of visitors to the site is continuing to increase and visitors are also spending more time looking around once they are there. In April this year the average time spent on the CFG website per visitor, was over 5 minutes.

Workshops

A number of ETS Forestry and Agriculture workshops are planned for June. The forestry workshops were announced in the MAF Forestry Bulletin and are copied below. 

Climate change workshops for rural professionals

 

Three free workshops will be run in the South Island for farm advisors and other rural professionals on climate change issues and land management practices. 

 

There will be discussions on greenhouse gases and how farmer clients could mitigate these to reduce their liability under the ETS. Case studies covering different farming systems including dairy, sheep and beef will focus on their impacts on profitability and greenhouse gas emissions. These will be presented together with a “take-home” resource kit that will act as valuable source of reference.

 

Presenters include Tony Rhodes of PGG Wrightson, John-Paul Praat of PA Handford and Associates Ltd and Fiona Hutchinson of DairyNZ.  Rural professionals including fertiliser & seed reps, bankers, extension personnel, regional councils, farm consultants and accountants are encouraged to attend these free workshops.

 

The workshops will be run in Otago, South Canterbury and West Coast. Starting time is 3.30 pm till 6.30 pm with a light snack provided.

 

Registration is essential but the cost for attending the workshops is free. To register online go to www.dairynz.co.nz/climatechange

 

Event details:

 

Otago                      7 June –  Mosgiel

South Canterbury      8 June – Timaru

West Coast            9 June – Hokitika

 

For more information on these events contact John-Paul Praat at on

07 870 2413 or email jp.praat@pahandford.co.nz

 

Carbon forestry financial modeling workshop

Dr Bruce Manley (New Zealand School of Forestry) and Piers MacLaren (Forestry Consultant) are presenting a three-day workshop for forestry professionals on how to incorporate carbon into forest financial analysis.

Topics covered include:

  • Overview of forest financial analysis
  • Financial analysis inputs
  • Available models
  • Estimation of carbon stocks using look-up tables and models
  • How different species and management regimes affect carbon stocks and financial outcomes
  • Carbon markets, and alternative carbon trading options
  • Risk management.

Dates and location:

From 10am 13 June to midday, 15 June, at the New Zealand School of Forestry , University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

Registration:

  • Cost is $230 (incl GST). This covers course materials, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.
  • Register at: www.fore.canterbury.ac.nz, News & Features, "Carbon Forestry Financial Modelling". Places are limited.

ETS and Forest Valuation: workshops to discuss draft guidance material

Two workshops are being held to seek feedback from a wider audience on the draft guidance material, and from forest and land valuers in particular.

Workshop dates and locations are:

  • Auckland on Friday 3 June (9.30am to 3pm)
  • Christchurch on Friday 10 June (10am to 3pm)

To register go to: www.fore.canterbury.ac.nz, News & Features. Places are limited.

 

Feedback

If you have any questions about climate change and the rural sector, or have ideas/suggestions that you’d like to share please contact us on 0800 123 733 or info@carbonfarming.org.nz

 

Best Regards,

 

Clayton Wallwork

Trustee

Carbon Farming Group

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