Erosion Susceptibility Classification

To manage erosion and protect our waterways, plantation forestry activities must be managed for the risk of erosion. The Erosion Susceptibility Classification tool assesses environmental risks.

About Erosion Susceptibility Classification

The Erosion Susceptibility Classification (ESC) is used to identify the erosion risk of land as a basis for determining where a plantation forestry activity:

  • is permitted, subject to certain conditions being met, or
  • requires resource consent because it's on higher-risk land.

The ESC tool will be available by May 2018 when the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) regulations commence. 

ESC database is available

While the tool won't be available until May 2018, the database for the tool is available now. The database provides information for the North and South islands only – not for New Zealand's offshore islands.

The database can be downloaded, then exported in several formats (Shapefile, CSV, KML, Excel) by signing in to an ArcGIS online account. If you don't already have an ArcGIS online account, you can create one for free. 

Key to land classification

The tool divides the New Zealand landscape into 4 erosion categories that are colour-coded according to risk. Refer to the NES-PF regulations for the specific requirements for forestry activities and ESC zoning details.

Green (low) and yellow (moderate) — land less likely to erode. Plantation forestry activities are permitted.

Orange (high risk) or red (very high risk) — land more likely to erode. Most plantation forestry activities can't be carried out on red-zoned land without resource consent. Some activities, such as earthworks, also require consent on orange-zoned land with steeper slopes.

Categories are based on the local:

  • topography (steepness of the slope)
  • dominant erosion process (like wind or water)
  • rock type

 Find out more

Other NES-PF tools

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