Environment - Forest carbon stocks 1990–2015

Ministry for the Environment


Forest carbon stocks include the amount of carbon stored in living and dead forest biomass (including trunk, roots, branches, deadwood, and litter) and in soil.
Deforestation is the change from forest to an alternative land use. Managed forest land that is harvested does not count as deforestation if it is replanted and used for the same purpose. However, if the managed forest land is harvested and used for another purpose it is counted as deforested area.

For more information


Data provided by

Ministry for the Environment

Dataset name

Environmental Reporting: Forest carbon stocks 2015



How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Download' from the top right of the screen. You will have to register to download this dataset.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Environmental Reporting: Forest carbon stocks 2015

From the dataset Environmental Reporting: Forest carbon stocks 2015, this data was extracted:

  • Rows: 2-1,067
  • Column: 4
  • Provided: 1,066 data points

Dataset originally released on:

October 17, 2017

Purpose of collection

New Zealand’s indigenous and exotic forests absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store the carbon as biomass and in the soil. On average, more than twice as much carbon per hectare is stored in New Zealand’s mature indigenous forests than in exotic forests planted for wood production. Regenerating indigenous forests are also an important store of carbon, adding carbon every year as they grow. Total carbon stored in exotic forests will fluctuate over decades as the forests grow from seedlings to mature trees, are harvested, and replanted. Because CO2 is the major driver of climate change, forests provide important mitigation services and help New Zealand meet its climate change commitments.

Method of collection/Data provider

The Ministry for the Environment uses its Land Use Carbon Analysis System (LUCAS) to calculate the amount of carbon stored in each forest, through modelling and from field measurements at a network of forest plots across New Zealand. Land-use maps created from satellite imagery determine the area of each forest type. Data collection of forest carbon stocks started in 1990 because of the need to account for the amount of carbon as set forth in the Kyoto Protocol.