The Waikato Regional Council is developing a regional carbon strategy that could improve the economic returns from marginal land by planting trees to benefit from the NZ Emission Trading System (ETS) as well as to enhance water quality, soil health and biodiversity. The concept is for the council to support forestry plantings and natural bush reversion on marginal farm land by acting as a facilitator to match up land owners and investors.
GIS has been used to identify suitable land (e.g. steep, erosion-prone land currently used for sheep and beef farming) and that could be converted to carbon forestry. WISE was then applied to assess various ecosystem services benefits (biodiversity, water quality, water runoff) and to compare landowner’s economic cost/benefits.
Click here to view a presentation on the Carbon Strategy and the use of WISE.
Further work is currently being undertaken.