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Solomon plan to boost carbon farming

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Solomon plan to boost carbon farming

Sir Mark Solomon is looking for 150,000 hectares of Māori land suitable for forests.

He’s part of the new Māori Carbon Foundation, which unveiled its plans in Kaikoura last week.

Other members include former MPs, Hone Harawira, and Murray McCully, former National Party president Michele Boag, technology entrepreneur Maru Nihoniho and communications strategist Jevan Goulter.

Sir Mark says the foundation will plant the trees, collect the carbon revenue for the first seven years to cover costs, then split the profits 50-50 until 30 years, when the permanent forests will be handed over to the landowners.

An associated trust led by Dame Tariana Turia will work on social benefits for the communities around the forests, such as training people for tree planting and pest eradication.

"We are also the party who realise we can only care for our environment when we are caring for our people and that it is the current economic system which has brought us the economic and social degradation in the first place so that is what we have to change, and likewise we can only look after people if we are caring for our environment," Sir Mark says

While the better returns for carbon farming come from planting pinus radiata and Douglas fir, the foundation also intends to plant natives.


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