The Carbon + Biodiversity (C+B) Pilot is trialling how a market arrangement for landholders could create new income from plantings that deliver biodiversity improvements and carbon abatement. Through the C+B Pilot, we are testing the concept of buying and selling biodiversity services. Landholders can gain multiple benefits and diversify their income by completing a project under C+B pilot.
The C+B Pilot has been designed and delivered in partnership with the Australian National University and Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisations in each trial region.
How it works
Landholders participating in the C+B Pilot are delivering long-term biodiversity improvement through planting native trees and shrubs in conjunction with an Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) registered environmental plantings project.
Plantings help farms and other landscapes by delivering benefits including:
- shelter for stock or other animals
- protecting dams and waterways
- reducing soil erosion.
Projects contribute to regional biodiversity by providing habitat for a variety of native species and can contribute to vegetation corridors in otherwise cleared landscapes.
To complete a C+B project, landholders are undertaking new projects in line with ERF requirements and C+B Pilot planting protocols.
ERF requirements involve planting or direct seeding of native tree and shrub species on land that has been clear of forest for more than 5 years. The purpose of these plantings is to store carbon.
C+B planting protocols set out rules about the location, dimensions, configuration and composition of plantings to ensure projects generate more biodiversity benefits.
Participants must maintain C+B projects for at least 25 years but may opt for a 100-year period under the ERF.
Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF)
All C+B participants are required to register with the ERF and undertake a new mixed-species environmental plantings project using the Reforestation by environmental or mallee plantings FullCAM method.
Selection of pilot projects and Biodiversity payment Offer
Applications were given a biodiversity benefit score. This is a modelled score of the projected biodiversity improvement likely from a project’s activities.
A biodiversity payment was then calculated, considering the costs of the project. Projects were ranked by their benefit-cost score and selected on a competitive basis. The biodiversity payment covers a portion of establishment costs, depending on the project, and considered:
- projected Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) a project could earn
- cost of establishing and maintaining the planting/s
- cost of reporting.
Throughout the life of the project, participants will report on progress to the Clean Energy Regulator and be issued with ACCUs. One ACCU equates to one tonne of carbon abated or sequestered.
Participants may sell their ACCUs to generate income by advertising their project on the National Stewardship Trading Platform or through auctions administered by the Clean Energy Regulator. More information can be found on the Clean Energy Regulator website.
C+B (Round One) is being run in 6 pilot NRM regions:
- Burnett-Mary in Queensland
- Central West in New South Wales
- North Central in Victoria
- NRM North in Tasmania
- Eyre Peninsula in South Australia
- South West in Western Australia
C+B Pilot (Round Two) is being run in 6 different NRM regions:
- 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
Projects are in various stages of being registered with the Emissions Reduction Fund and we expect that plantings will commence throughout 2022-23.
Further details of the pilot can be obtained by contacting the department on firstname.lastname@example.org.