Applications open for Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot

12 April 2021
  • The Australian Government is providing $23.5 million for improved on farm biodiversity through the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship’s Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot.
  • The pilot will test processes and protocols that measure and reward farmers for undertaking mixed-species tree plantings on top of eligible carbon projects
  • The goal is to deliver a system that will be respected by domestic and international markets

Applications for farmers to participate in the Australian Government’s $23.5 million Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot are now open.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said the Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot is key component of the government’s $34 million Agriculture Stewardship Package. 

“When I first became Agriculture Minister, I had a belief and passion that Australian farmers should be rewarded for the stewardship of their land. 

“Through the world-leading work of the Australian National University, we now have a framework that will deliver a return to farmers, while also providing the right integrity to ultimately establish a robust marketplace.  

“Under this pilot, farmers across six Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions will now be able to apply to receive a biodiversity payment in addition to what they would receive under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) if they use regional specific planting protocols and comply with ERF methodologies. 

“This doesn’t mean locking up the land and throwing away the key. This means planting trees on less productive land, such as gullies or hillsides, to deliver a return that is at or better than what the farmers would achieve under traditional farming methods. 

“We’re also capping the program at between 5 to 200 hectares to guarantee farmers can continue to do what they do best: farm. 

“This pilot has significant potential: it will improve our landscape and environment, it will deliver carbon abatement, and it will provide an important drought resilient income stream for farmers.

“I encourage farmers in the six NRM eligible regions to get involved in the pilot and help us prove this pilot works and prove to the market there is a genuine opportunity to invest in Australia’s farmers, the environment and the future of rural and regional Australia.”

For more information go to: www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculturestewardship

Fast Facts:

  • Applications for the Carbon+Biodiversity Pilot Program close on 11 June 2021
  • The Pilot is a key component of the Australian Government’s $34 million Agriculture Stewardship Package
  • Six NRM regions across Australia have been selected to test the pilot: 

             - Burnett-Mary (QLD)
             - Central West (NSW)
             - North Central (VIC)
             - North Tasmania (TAS)
             - Eyre Peninsula (SA) 
             - South-West (WA)

  • Regions have been selected, amongst other criteria, to trial the program across a range of jurisdictions, farming systems, and vegetation types