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Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Strategy

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Climate change strategies and plans

8.1 Priority landscapes for carbon farming

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Native Forest Protection

The eligibility criteria for the Native Forest Protection Method are consistent with regional principles for planning carbon farming projects. There is minimal opportunity for this activity in the Goulburn Broken Catchment as native forests are currently protected through State and local government planning regulations.

Environmental Plantings and Natural Regeneration

Environmental plantings and natural regeneration methods broadly align with natural resource management initiatives undertaken by government agencies, regional authorities (for example the Goulburn Broken CMA) or community groups (for example Landcare or Conservation Management Networks).

Natural regeneration can only take place within or adjacent to existing native vegetation or in areas with scattered tree cover, that is, where a seed source for regeneration exists.

Table 8 outlines principles to assist planning of environmental plantings and natural regeneration as part of a carbon farming project.

Table 8: Principles for planning environmental plantings and natural regeneration as part of a carbon farming project

PROMOTION PRINCIPLES RATIONALE
Proximity to existing native vegetation Location close to existing native vegetation has potential to enhance value, due to increased patch size and continuity
Regional priority for improving landscape vegetation connectivity/biodiversity value Where possible carbon farming plantings and natural regeneration should complement regional priorities.
Carbon sequestration potential Carbon farming has potential to generate returns from sale of carbon credits. Landholders may be more attracted to biodiverse plantings and natural regeneration where financial returns are greater.
Vulnerability to climate change Plantings and regeneration should be encouraged in areas where the landscape is more vulnerable to climate change as a means of strengthening resilience.
AVOIDANCE PRINCIPLES RATIONALE
Reduction in water yield with revegetation Water interceptions increase with rainfall, ERF regulations do not address interception effects of environmental plantings
Land use Weighted away from land uses which have high social and/or economic value (for current uses) and greater sensitivity to bushfires. This reflects emphasis of plantings away from land uses with high economic or social value (e.g. horticultural land, land adjacent to urban development).

In addition to the avoidance and promotion principles, carbon farming project proponents are responsible for ensuring consideration of Federal, State and local legislation and regulations regarding such issues including, but not exclusive to, water interception, fire management, native vegetation retention, land use planning, cultural heritage and invasive plants and animals.

Figures 25 and 26 outline areas in the Goulburn Broken Catchment that could support environmental plantings and natural regeneration for carbon farming whilst aligning with the Catchment’s natural resource values.

click to enlarge click to enlarge
Figure 25: Areas of the Goulburn Broken Catchment that could support environmental plantings for carbon-sequestration. Figure 26: Areas of the Goulburn Broken Catchment that could support natural regeneration for carbon-sequestration.

Please note: These maps are not intended to incorporate all decision-making elements but represent an initial prioritisation for carbon farming based on spatiallyenabled method eligibility criteria and principles for promotion and avoidance of carbon farming. These maps should be considered in conjunction with the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Natural Resource Management in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, Victoria, 2016 in its entirety.

Mallee and other non-environmental plantings (particularly high density hardwood plantations)

Since this form of planting involves the use of species that will not be locally indigenous, the Goulburn Broken CMA recommends that they are to be directed away from areas of existing native vegetation cover to reduce risks associated with the introduction of new genetic material.

Mallee plantations are only eligible under the current method in areas with less than 600 millimetres average annual rainfall. This eligibility requirement should also be applied to the voluntary market.

Non-environmental plantings pose the greatest water interception risk due to high density planting and growth rates. Although water access entitlements must be purchased in areas with more than 600 millimetres average annual rainfall, this will only mitigate water interception risks at the river basin scale and not in small upper catchment areas. To minimise genetic and water interception risks, the plantings should be directed away from locations that are adjacent to existing native vegetation areas and waterways.

Table 9 outlines principles to assist planning of non-environmental plantings as part of a carbon farming project.

In addition to the avoidance and promotion principles, carbon farming project proponents are responsible for ensuring consideration of Federal, State and local legislation and regulations regarding such issues including, but not exclusive to, water interception, fire management, native vegetation retention, land use planning, cultural heritage and invasive plants and animals .

Figures 27 and 28 outline areas in the Goulburn Broken Catchment that could support these types of activities whilst aligning with the Catchment’s natural resource values.

Table 9: Principles for planning non-environmental plantings for carbon farming projects

PROMOTION PRINCIPLES RATIONALE
Carbon sequestration potential Carbon farming has potential to generate returns from sale of carbon credits. Landholders may be more attracted to biodiverse plantings and natural regeneration where financial returns are greater.
Vulnerability to climate change Plantings and regeneration should be encouraged in areas were the landscape is more vulnerable to climate change as a means of strengthening resilience.
AVOIDANCE PRINCIPLES RATIONALE
Proximity to existing native vegetation Weighted away from areas of high biodiversity value
Reduction in water yield with revegetation Water interceptions increase with rainfall, ERF regulations do not address interception effects of environmental plantings
Land use Weighted away from land uses which have high social and/or economic value (for current uses) and greater sensitivity to bushfires. This reflects emphasis of plantings away from land uses with high economic or social value (e.g. horticultural land, land adjacent to urban development).
click to enlarge click to enlarge
Figure 27: Areas of the Goulburn Broken Catchment that could support conventional non-environmental carbon farming plantings Figure 28: Areas of the Goulburn Broken Catchment that could support Mallee carbon farming plantings

Please note: These maps are not intended to incorporate all decision-making elements but represent an initial prioritisation for carbon farming based on spatially enabled method eligibility criteria and principles for promotion and avoidance of carbon farming. These maps should be considered in conjunction with the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Natural Resource Management in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, Victoria, 2016 in its entirety.

  1. Has the most appropriate information been used for the priority assessment? If not, why? Please provide details of other information.
  2. Is the presentation of spatial data (i.e. the maps) easy to interpret? If not, why? How can this be improved?