Little Proud says Australian companies are “hungry” to pay farmers to protect biodiversity in the world’s first

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Australia’s business will pay farmers to protect biodiversity under a “world’s first” plan aimed at reducing emissions and rewarding environmental improvements. Declared “hungry”.

Last week’s federal budget included multi-step funding Agricultural Biodiversity Stewardship Package It aims to make it attractive for farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their land biodiversity protection.

Some goals are to appeal to farmers and create uncritical climate and environmental policies Simultaneous MP opposed measures to reduce emissions.

Regarding ABC’s RN breakfast on Tuesday, Little Proud said Australia would be the first jurisdiction in the world to measure and reward improvements in agricultural land biodiversity.

He will provide farmers approved to generate carbon credits through projects to reduce emissions, such as vegetation restoration or removal, with additional prepaid premium payments for additional steps that also emphasize biodiversity protection. Stated.

You may need to plant a mixture of species that suits your landscape and manage and care for your vegetation.

Professor Andrew Macintosh, an environmental policy specialist at the Australian National University, one of the scheme’s designers, says carbon credits are attractive to companies that want to buy as offsets and help them take care of them. The natural environment said that it is expected to be possible.

“We believe that the high-value, voluntary carbon market, where companies need credit and want the positive talk that accompanies it, is a real attraction,” said Macintosh.

The voluntary carbon market (basically the companies that buy credits to meet their voluntary emission reduction targets) has grown significantly from about 25,000 credits sold in 2015 to over 700,000 in the last five years. Has grown into. Macintosh said it is growing dramatically as more companies set net zero emission reduction targets.

Prepaid premiums paid by the government under the “Carbon + Biodiversity Pilot” program are determined using a model that calculates the number of credits that may be generated and sold during the life of the project and are not. It is intended to provide a public rate of return. To farmers.

Little Proud Discussed the development of a $ 34 million pilot With Guardian Australia in March. He told ABC on Tuesday: [emissions reduction fund] It will be able to trade with the corporate sector, which is very hungry for this kind of product. “

“Because we can measure biodiversity improvement for the first time in the world, we will add the social licenses that businesses are looking for and reward farmers’ management,” he said.

Macintosh states that the ultimate goal is to create an independent market for carbon component-independent biodiversity credits, reflecting that development is often approved under biodiversity offset requirements. It was.

Two reports from last year – Australian National Audit Office And that Former competition watchdog Graham Samuel – The current practice of using environmental offsets to enable development approval has been found to be seriously flawed.

The budget included $ 4.4 million to create a biodiversity trading platform. In effect, it’s an online bulletin board where landowners can offer biodiversity-enhanced carbon credits (and ultimately straight biodiversity credits) for sale to companies of interest.

It also promised $ 5.4 million to create Australia’s voluntary farm biodiversity certification system. This allows farmers to stamp their products as environmentally friendly. Little Proud said he hopes this will lead to a premium “in places like the EU and the UK that want these types of programs.”

The government has pledged $ 22.3 million to what is known as fortified debris vegetation, a pilot program to protect existing high-value native plants and the ecosystems of their land.

Under this scheme, landowners are offered rolling payment contracts for steps such as fence installation, weeding, pest control and replanting. Macintosh said the goal is to bring national coherence to incentives that vary from state to state.

Little Proud said the idea of ​​the biodiversity market is still in its infancy and the government business The Australian Council “about what it will be”.

The Australian Conservation Foundation said that giving farmers incentives to plant native plants would help promote biodiversity and store carbon in the landscape, but before joining the program, landowners would have their own. He called on the government to have no “perverse incentive” to remove vegetation from the land.

Basha Stasak, Foundation’s Nature Program Manager, said Australia is a world leader in extinction and deforestation. “The most important thing is that such a program will bring real benefits to biodiversity in the long run,” she said.

“This pilot needs to provide useful evidence of what actually benefits naturally, so that these measures can be more widely adopted.”

Farmers for climate change have said establishing a platform for trading biodiversity and carbon credits from vegetation restoration is a good step. Fiona Davis, Interim CEO of Farmers for Climate Action, said:

Little Proud says Australian companies are “hungry” to pay farmers to protect biodiversity in the world’s first

Source link Little Proud says Australian companies are “hungry” to pay farmers to protect biodiversity in the world’s first

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