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28, Oct, 2008

Greenpeace halts forest conversion to dairy - calls for moratorium


Category: Greenpeace NZ

It's calling for a halt to forest conversion for intensive dairy in light of the worsening global climate crisis.

The land being converted is part of the Kinleith Forest and owned by Carter Holt Harvey. 25,000 hectares are being cleared to make way for corporate farms.

Greenpeace is calling on both major political parties to explain how they'll address what the National Party has termed a "chainsaw massacre" and how they'll deal with intensive dairy farming.

"The Labour Party says the emissions trading scheme (ETS) has stopped the massacre, but this is demonstrably untrue," said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer from the site. "Meanwhile National has been happy to draw attention to deforestation, but refuses to talk about one of the key drivers - corporate dairy farming - nor offer up any real solutions.

"We're seeing deforestation for corporate dairy on a scale not seen before in New Zealand. Tens of thousands of hectares of forests have already been felled to make way for intensive farms.

"Latest government figures suggest another half million hectares is at risk; over seven times the size of Lake Taupo and a quarter of the nation's total plantation.

"Not only is the deforestation causing annual carbon emissions equivalent to the Huntly Power station, but the forests are being replaced by industrial, intensive farms. This is one of the most greenhouse gas intensive forms of land use. It's killing the climate and destroying New Zealand's forestry and tourism sectors.

"If ever there was a climate crime, intensive dairy farming and the associated chainsaw massacre is it."

Greenpeace is calling on all political parties to ban further conversion of forests to pasture, to bring agriculture into the ETS before 2013, and to set an emissions reduction target of 30 per cent by 2020.

See http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/smartfarming for more information.