A plantation forestry carbon farming project involves expanding or optimising plantation estates for solid wood production.
There are two main types of plantation management activities that a plantation owner, manager or investor can undertake:
- Converting a short rotation plantation to a long rotation plantation;
- Development of a greenfield plantation site on environmentally suitable land (as either a long or short rotation plantation).
A plantation forestry carbon farming project is implemented on land in Australia for either 25 or 100 years. These projects can only be conducted in regions that are part of Australia’s National Plantation Inventory.
To implement a project on a greenfields site, the land must not have been a plantation in the previous seven years and the establishment of a plantation must not have an undesirable impact on agricultural production, as determined by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
Regeneration carbon farming projects involve managing land in a way that enables native vegetation to regenerate naturally into forest. This is done by changing, reducing or removing factors that would otherwise suppress regeneration (e.g. grazing pressure, feral animals and non-native plants and clearing or thinning practices).
The regenerating forest captures and stores carbon in the landscape, producing carbon credits which can be traded. Over time, the project implementation area will transition to ‘forest cover’. In Australia, forest cover means an area of land that has trees two or more metres tall and a canopy that covers at least 20% of the total area. Forest cover should be achieved within 15 years of when the trees germinated.
A regeneration project is implemented on land in Australia for either 25 or 100 years. Projects can only take place on land areas that did not have forest cover for the ten years before the project commences (known as the baseline period). The regeneration project involves natural germination of trees, rather than seeding or planting activities, which are covered under different project methods.
Case Study Examples
Managing a cattle in a way that reduces the emissions intensity of the herd.
Increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil as a direct result of changes in property management.
Expanding or optimising plantation estates for solid wood production.
Planting or seeding trees to establish a forest.