Protecting native forest
A carbon farming project that avoids clearing or deforestation of native forest involves making an active choice to protect standing forest on a property and forgoing use of a clearing permit previously issued by the relevant government agency.
Avoided clearing safeguards carbon stored in the mature native forest cover (defined as an area of land that has trees that are two or more meters tall, and a canopy that covers at least 20% of the total area), avoiding emissions from deforestation. Carbon credits are earned for measured emissions that have been avoided – these can be traded.
Carbon farming projects that protect native forest at risk of clearing are implemented in Australia for either 25 or 100 years. Project areas must have forest cover at the time of the project application, as well as either an eligible clearing permit or evidence of a history of recurrent clearing, and a plan and consent to re-clear had the project proponent not chosen to proceed with a carbon project.
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.