AU$30m fund welcomed by Climate Proofing Australia

Friday 29 Mar 2019

Climate Proofing Australia (CPA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a AU$30 million pilot Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Program, and urges for more to be done to incentivise carbon projects that deliver the co-benefits of biodiversity, productivity, water quality and landholders and employment.

Climate Proofing Australia (CPA) is a conservation and industry alliance comprised of Farmers for Climate Action, the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC), Greening Australia and the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), committed to advancing the role of agribusiness, conservation and natural resource management in Australia’s climate change and emissions reduction policy.

Farmers for Climate Action CEO Ms Verity Morgan-Schmidt said the pilot program’s objectives of seeing “farmers receive incentives for projects that boost biodiversity and also, if appropriate, absorb carbon” is important recognition that the agriculture sector has an important role to play in Australia’s climate change mitigation strategy.

“With climate change leading to increasing management and productivity challenges for farmers, this pilot scheme is a positive step forward to ensure that farmers receive appropriate recognition for the eco-system services they provide,” Ms Morgan-Schmidt said.

Greening Australia CEO Mr Brendan Foran said the conservation sector has an important role to play in working with the agriculture and forestry industries to better integrate biodiversity and carbon sequestration in their operations, and urged the Government use the$2.2 billion Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) to prioritise carbon projects that deliver multiple benefits.

“CPA calls on the Government to remove existing barriers in the ERF architecture that have limited the land sector’s participation, and direct at least AU$500 million from the ERF for land-based projects that also deliver environmental and productivity benefits,” Mr Foran said.

“The current ERF conditions limit the land sector’s capacity to generate co-benefits associated with carbon sequestration, such as reinstating wildlife habitat, supporting sustainable agriculture, increasing the plantation forestry estate, and cleaner waters in our rivers. By working with the conservation sector, Australia can be more ambitious about what we can achieve with this investment.”

Source: Climate Proofing Australia

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