Paper Production Supports Sustainable Forest Management

New Zealand has a total of 10.1 million hectares of forests, covering 38% of the land area. Of this, 8 million hectares are in indigenous forest. The area of plantation forest is 2.1 million hectares, of which 1.7 million hectares is productive area, with the balance being reserves and unplanted areas near water bodies and infrastructure.

With the increasing standing volume, the amount of carbon sequestered has also increased to 454m tonnes in 2012. 94% of the plantation forest estate is in some form of private ownership, with the principal management objective being the commercial production of timber construction, not paper supply.


In Australia and New Zealand, paper comes from managed regrowth forests or planted forests where the cycle of planting, growing and harvesting is carefully controlled.

Australia has 134 million hectares of forest, covering 17% of Australia’s land area. Australia has approximately 3% of the world’s forests, and globally is the country with the seventh largest forest area.

Australia’s forests can be divided into three categories:

·         ‘Native forest’ – 132 million hectares, 98% of Australia’s forest area

·         ‘Commercial plantations’ – 1.95 million hectares, 1.5% of Australia’s forest area

·         ‘Other forest’ – 0.47 million hectares, 0.4% of Australia’s forest area, and comprising mostly non-commercial plantations, and planted forests of various types.

Australia’s State of the Forests Report, 2018

·         New Zealand’s net stocked planted production forest covered an estimated 1.71 million hectares as at 1 April 2017.

·         The total planted forest standing volume was estimated to be 519 million cubic metres with an average forest standing age (area weighted) of 17.38 years.

·         The provisional new planting estimate for the year ending 31 December 2017 is 4,000 hectares. This number may be revised in the 2018 NEFD.

·         Radiata pine is the dominant species in New Zealand, making up 90% of the planted production forest area.

New Zealand Planted Forest, 2018

Australia’s forest area has increased progressively since 2008. The net increase in forest area over the period 2011 to 2016 was 3.9 million hectares.

Australia’s State of the Forests Report, 2018

Over 90% of Australia’s commercial native forest operations are independently certified to comply with the world’s best sustainable forest management practices. This is compared to the global average of 8%, meaning Australia is a leader when it comes to ensuring the sustainability of forest practices

Australian Forest Production Association, 2017


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