The Climate Change Commission's draft advice on lowering New Zealand's emissions has suggested decreasing livestock by 15 per cent by 2030. On The Country today, North Otago farmer Ele Ludemann shared her husband Grant's idea on how state-owned farm Pāmu (formerly known as Landcorp) could help with the "great destocking".
Let government lead by destocking Landcorp
My farmer has come up with a brilliant idea to kick-start the great destocking that the Climate Change Commission is asking of us.
Landcorp's 2019 annual report says the company manages 117 farms, 84 of which they own.
These farms carry 440,000 sheep 80,000 beef cattle 74,000 dairy cows and 89,000 deer.
The Government could order the company to completely destock all its farms and plant them in natives as their contribution to decarbonising the country.
This would send a very clear signal that they are serious about the need for drastic action and are prepared to lead by example.
Landcorp has 336,342 hectares in total under management, 154,386 hectares of which are farmed.
Listen to Jamie Mackay interview Ele Ludemann on The Country below:
Destocking the farms and planting all of the land in natives would have a double benefits – fewer animals and more trees.
They could make sure there were plenty of biking and walking tracks among the trees to provide recreational opportunities for the public with the condition that people had to walk or bike to access them.
Turning Landcorp from farming to the custodian of native forests wouldn't be an inexpensive exercise.
However, the signal we're being sent is that whatever the cost, we can't afford not to.
If we're being told we can't be sheepish about doing our bit for the planet then the government which owns so much land and stock should have no beef about showing us how.