Opportunities for the use of Māori Land for storing CO2 (carbon farming) were investigated by Landcare Research between October 2001 and June 2002. A framework for future involvement of Māori landowners in carbon farming was constructed using non-specific output funding (NSOF) from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.
To evaluate the opportunities for Māori to participate in the provision of “forest sink” credits through regeneration of indigenous forest, using the Gisborne - East Cape region as an example.
To develop a framework for Māori participation in future CO2 sequestration projects, in consultation with Ngā Whenua Rahui and Ngāti Porou representatives.
The quantity and location of Māori-owned land that is potentially eligible as Kyoto forest either presently or under future conversion from marginal pasture should be ascertained as soon as possible.
Any mechanism for inclusion of scrub in carbon trading should be developed with “grass-roots” participation from Māori communities and organisations.
Land ownership and rangatiratanga (in this instance, management of land use) has to remain with the owner(s).
Provision should be made for “customary use” of a specified area of forest or shrubland. An additional option may be continuous cover forestry where selected trees are harvested according to size class. Further research is required to verify the effect on CO2 sequestration.
Contracts and agreements between Māori landowners and buyers of CO2 credits should be appropriate for both parties – advice could be sought from Ngā Whenua Rahui and EBEX21.