Farmers will soon be paid to plant more trees on their properties, in a bid to reward the sector for increasing biodiversity on their farms while earning carbon credits.
The Carbon+Diversity pilot will launch in six regions nationally – one in each state – with farmers paid to plant mixed tree species in projects of between five and 200 hectares.
The $3.4 million project, designed by the Australian National University, will essentially be an extension of the Emissions Reductions Fund’s carbon farming scheme. Participating farmers will be able to gain credits for carbon abatement through the ERF, while also being paid for increasing biodiversity, through the ANU scheme.
“What we’ve designed is making this a commercial proposition to farmers so they can actually look at environmental planting as a commercial proposition that competes with their other alternative land uses,” ANU professor Andrew Macintosh said.
“This is the first time I know of in the world where a program has been trialled that provides two completely separate revenue streams for carbon and then also for biodiversity.”