- The Australian Government is providing $23.5 million for improved on farm biodiversity through the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship’s Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot.
- Round 2 of the pilot will test processes and protocols that measure and reward farmers for undertaking mixed-species tree plantings on top of eligible carbon projects in six new NRM regions
- The goal is to deliver a system that will be respected by domestic and international markets
Rockhampton region farmers will be able to participate in Round 2 of the Australian Government’s $23.5 million Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot from mid-December.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said the Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot was key component of the government’s $34 million Agriculture Stewardship Package.
“When I first became Agriculture Minister, I had a belief and passion that Australian farmers should be rewarded for the stewardship of their land,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Through the world-leading work of the Australian National University, we now have a framework that will deliver a return to farmers, while also providing the right integrity to ultimately establish a robust marketplace.
“This doesn’t mean locking up the land and throwing away the key. This means planting trees on less productive land, such as gullies or hillsides, to deliver a return that is at or better than what the farmers would achieve under traditional farming methods.
“We’re also capping the program at between 5 to 200 hectares to guarantee farmers can continue to do what they do best: farm.
“Round 1 saw over $4 million offered to projects for the biodiversity outcomes that could cover nearly 3,000 hectares. The projects would also deliver potentially over 400,000 Australian Carbon Credit Units which would deliver additional income to farmers on top of the biodiversity outcomes.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the program would benefit the entire region.
“This is a practical program that will provide important new income options for our local farmers,” Ms Landry said.
“This is a world first initiative that brings together science and practical actions to protect our landscape.
“Critically, this pilot is designed to make environmental plantings a commercial proposition – one that delivers a genuine financial return for our farmers – in addition to the aesthetic, environmental and feel good benefits this delivers.
“I encourage every farmer in the Rockhampton region to get involved and to continue to build our reputation as premium producers delivering clean and green food and fibre.”
The Australian Government’s National Stewardship Trading Platform will also begin in December, making it easier for farmers to plan their projects and sell biodiversity and carbon outcomes.
For more information go to: www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculturestewardship
- The Pilot is a key component of the Australian Government’s $34 million Agriculture Stewardship Package
- Six new NRM regions across Australia have been selected to test the pilot:
- Fitzroy Basin in Queensland
- Riverina in New South Wales
- Goulburn Broken in Victoria
- Southern in Tasmania
- Northern and Yorke in South Australia
- South Coast in Western Australia.
- Regions have been selected, amongst other criteria, to trial the program across a range of jurisdictions, farming systems, and vegetation types
- Under the C+B Pilot, farmers who plant native trees and shrubs, in line with a biodiversity protocol developed by the Australian National University, can receive payments for biodiversity outcomes.
- These payments will be in addition to earnings a landholder might receive from selling the carbon credits associated with those trees.