|Forest codes of practice. Contributing to environmentally sound forest operations. (FAO Forestry Paper - 133) (1996)|
|New Zealand forestry and the forest code of practice|
The New Zealand Government recently introduced the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). This Act replaces nearly all other resource and land, air and water related laws. The main aim of the RMA is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. The RMA is an effects-based resource law, focusing on the activities which cause adverse environmental effects. Consequently, forestry
The definition of sustainability used in the Act includes providing for social, economic and cultural well-being. Although the RMA lists several matters of national importance, it is otherwise very vague on what to protect, and how to provide this protection. The balancing act between resource development and conservation is left up to the regional councils (13) and district councils (84), who are expected to implement the RMA. As there is no explicit forestry law in New Zealand, any specific regulations are expected to be developed by the councils.
The effectiveness of the law is intended to, come from the direct liability it places on people involved in resource management, as the Act states that every person has a duty to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse impacts. Fines of up to NZ$200,000, and two year jail terms can be imposed for non-compliance. There is expected to be a clear chain of instruction/command between company management and workers, and ultimately the responsibility lies with the land owners and company management.