Projects Forest Management
Tasmanian native forest protection
The Tasmanian Native Forest Protection Projects involve the protection of large tracts of privately owned land in the Tasmanian Central Highlands. The land is degraded native forest which has been logged in the past and – in the absence of carbon revenue – would continue to be either logged or cleared for agriculture in the future.
This group of projects is a test case. If it works, a new business model will have been created to compete with logging. It is a real opportunity to preserve Tasmania's iconic native forests; but it requires financial support from businesses and individuals through the sale of carbon credits.
Tasmania is known globally for its precious native forest, endemic species, significant biological diversity and spectacular wild places. The exceptional ecological values of Tasmania's natural environment have been recognised internationally.
However, significant tracts of native forest are still being logged or are scheduled for logging. Increasing areas of forest are also being clear-felled to make way for pasture and other agricultural use. The timber is primarily used to create low-value woodchip for the pulp and paper industry.
Whilst there is increasing concern for the plight of Tasmania's forests, there are at present limited options for landowners seeking to manage the land in a manner that is both economically and environmentally sustainable. Currently logging is the primary option.
These pioneering projects were the first in Australia to be accredited under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and among the first VCS projects in the world in the field of improved forest management and avoided deforestation. The projects minimise greenhouse gas emissions by preventing the release of carbon stored in the trees, which would otherwise occur through the logging, processing and use of the timber. The credits issued in recognition of this provide a means for landholders to pursue a new business model by generating revenue from their sale.
Benefits Beyond Carbon Reduction
In addition to their climate change benefits, the projects help to protect and restore Tasmania's valuable native forests, which provide a habitat for a number of endangered species including the wedge-tailed eagle, spotted quoll and the iconic Tasmanian devil.
They have also created new employment opportunities in the forestry sector, and ecotourism opportunities through the enhancement of the landscape.
Furthermore, the projects have provided income diversification and stabilisation for local landowners, thereby enabling them to set the land aside for conservation purposes only, and manage it in a way that encourages natural regeneration of the forest.
In addition, landholders are keen to raise awareness of their efforts to protect this unique forest landscape by facilitating visits to the area to see first-hand the benefits these projects bring.