Imagine if you could only sell one commodity that you produced on your farm. For example, you have grazed beef cattle but can only sell the prime cut, or raised sheep but can only sell the wool. The carbon market has operated a bit like this in the last few years – with farmers only getting paid for a subset of their sustainable land management activities.
The carbon farmers we partner with across the rangelands all actively manage their properties to achieve dual goals of healthy land and sustainable agricultural production. This means that since they started their carbon projects in the last five years, they have provided environmental services that go beyond what is currently recognised and credited by approved carbon farming methods.
The active landscape management approach aims to rectify this problem and to better align the carbon farming framework with how land is managed on the ground. This will make it easier for farmers to get involved in carbon farming because a greater portion of the emissions reduction actions taken by land managers to be recognised. This will provide
increased revenue from carbon projects, and enable smaller farms and additional agricultural regions to access carbon farming.
In South West Queensland we have partnered with Bush Heritage and CSIRO to undertake three pilots, funded by a $750,000 Land Restoration Fund grant. We are also establishing partnerships to undertake pilot projects in other rangelands geographies, including NSW, WA and SA.