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Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Ltd Granted FSC Certification on Newly Acquired New Zealand Plantations
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Tauranga, New Zealand, 16 January 2008 — The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a world leader in the promotion and accreditation of environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable forest management, has granted accreditation to Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Limited (HFM NZ) for timberlands it manages in New Zealand.

HFM NZ is a property management subsidiary of the Hancock Timber Resource Group, the world's largest timberland investment management organization.

After an extensive audit, the FSC has confirmed certification for HFM's managed forests in Northland and Nelson, which were acquired in December 2006 from Carter Holt Harvey.

HFM NZ now holds FSC certification for nearly all of its New Zealand portfolio, which consists of approximately 236,000 hectares of plantations in the Central North Island, Northland and Nelson regions. A small percentage of the properties that HFM NZ manages cannot be FSC-certified. These lands, on which HFM NZ holds only the timber rights, are expected to be converted from timberlands by the owners when the timber rights expire, making them ineligible for certification.

"Gaining independent endorsement of our forest management practices is an important milestone for HFM NZ, HTRG and its investors," said HFM NZ General Manager Bill McCallum. "The FSC certification process is comprehensive in its approach and sets extremely high standards. FSC's philosophy of continual improvement also is consistent with HTRG's own strong stewardship ethic."

Forest certification provides a means by which retailers and consumers can evaluate the origin of forest products and consider the impact of their production on the world's forests. Certification gives consumers the option of "voting with their dollars," by choosing wood and wood products that come from sustainably managed forests.

FSC certification helps ensures that timber harvesting is ecologically and silviculturally sound, and socially and economically beneficial to local communities. FSC certification brings foresters, manufacturers, conservationists and consumers together to improve forest management.

About the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

The Forest Stewardship Council is an international nonprofit organization founded to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests through independent forest management certification and marketplace labeling of certified forest products. FSC has operations in over forty countries worldwide and serves as formal accreditor of forest certification programs such as Scientific Certification Systems, ensuring consistent performance. More than 93.9 million acres (38 million hectares) of forestlands have been certified globally according to FSC standards.

Environmentally appropriate forest management ensures that the harvest of timber and non-timber products maintains the forest's biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes.

Socially beneficial forest management helps both local people and society at large to enjoy long term benefits and also provides strong incentives to local people to sustain the forest resources and adhere to long-term management plans.

Economically viable forest management means that forest operations are structured and managed so as to be sufficiently profitable, without generating financial profit at the expense of the forest resources, the ecosystem or affected communities. The tension between the need to generate adequate financial returns and the principles of responsible forest operations can be reduced through efforts to market forest products for their best value.

Information on the FSC can be found at www.fsc.org.


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