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Published: 2006-12-18 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has welcomed the government’s discussion document proposing policy options to address the risks and opportunities of climate change on New Zealand’s agricultural and forestry sectors.

Chairman Jenni Vernon said the paper Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change raised important issues that were particularly significant to the Waikato, given the concentration of these industries in the region.

“Agriculture and forestry make a significant contribution to our regional economy, so we have a keen interest in managing the economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts climate change may have on these industries,” she said.

“How we use and manage our land impacts on the quality of the water in our region’s streams, rivers and lakes. It also impacts on flood protection, hydrology, renewable energy and biodiversity – all issues Environment Waikato is responsible for managing.

“We’re interested in the government’s thinking on climate change and what it means for the way New Zealand’s agricultural and forestry sectors use land resources.”

Environment Waikato will review the proposals set out in the document and provide comment through the consultation process government will run in February and March next year.

“Council congratulates government on facilitating debate on this difficult and complex issue,” said Cr Vernon.