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Carbon Farming site assessments are underway for potential sequestration projects across the Wheatbelt.

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Sustainable Agriculture

Wheatbelt NRM is providing consultant services for landholders who received vouchers under the State Government’s Carbon for Farmers Voucher Program. The vouchers enabled producers, who are interested in developing a registered carbon farming project, to access advice on planning and feasibility. These environmental planting projects are designed to generate Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU’s) through the Clean Energy Regulator’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). ACCU’s are a tradeable financial product that can be used to verify a farm businesses own carbon accounting balance sheet, or sold into the open market.

Wheatbelt NRM is helping producers develop a Land Management Strategy, effectively a project plan that reviews project site attributes and best revegetation options, delineates carbon estimation areas, estimates the carbon sequestration potential, and evaluates the risks, costs and benefits. This includes a measuring and monitoring plan that best demonstrates the project’s ecological and productivity co-benefits, thus adding market value to the carbon credit unit. Co-benefits may include buffering native remnant vegetation, providing additional habitat for native fauna, protecting water ways, enhancing soil health, production benefits and improved system resilience through micro-climate, reduced erosion and salinity mitigation.

Under the environmental planting ERF methodology, strategically located environmental plantings within the agricultural landscape encourage landholders to revegetate with local provenance native species on land that is either degraded and/or less profitable for grazing or cropping. Well-considered carbon revegetation projects are designed to protect priority agricultural land with no net loss to production, whilst enhancing biodiversity and conservation values by introducing significant new areas of biodiverse plantings into the landscape.

Wheatbelt NRM’s Sustainable Agriculture team have already conducted several site visits to begin the process of developing carbon farming land management strategies. The plans will enable producers to make sound business decisions around how a registered carbon farming project might fit within their business plans at this point in time or in the future.

The team look forward to developing more skills in the carbon sector to assist with holistic project planning throughout the Wheatbelt Region.

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Published eNews377, March ‘23