New Biodiversity Fund Announced
As part of the new Clean Energy Future Package, the Government has announced that it will provide funding of $946 million over the first six years for landholders to undertake projects that establish, restore, protect or manage biodiverse carbon stores.
The Fund will support restoration and management of biodiverse carbon stores including:
• reforestation and revegetation in areas of high conservation value including wildlife corridors, rivers, streams and wetlands
• management and protection of biodiverse ecosystems, including publicly owned native forests and land under conservation covenants or subject to land clearing restrictions
• action to prevent the spread of invasive species across connected landscapes.
Guidelines which will outline the criteria for accessing support from the Fund will soon be developed.
The Biodiversity Fund will be managed by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
An independent ‘Land Sector Carbon and Biodiversity Advisory Board’, also similar to that requested by Boobook Supporter groups, will be established to provide advice to Government on implementation, including setting funding priorities and reviewing the success of the program.
The Government will also provide an ongoing Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund ($22 million over its first five years) to assist Indigenous communities to benefit from the Carbon Farming Initiative, and $44 million over five years for NRM regions to develop plans to guide where carbon farming projects should be located in the landscape.
Summary of funding initiatives
Biodiversity Fund: establish, restore, protect or manage biodiverse carbon stores $946 million
Carbon Farming Futures program help landholders participate in the Carbon Farming Initiative through research, innovation and on the ground action $429 million
Carbon Farming Initiative purchase of CFI credits not yet recognised internationally (such as from soil carbon projects) $250 million
Research and development on ways of reducing pollution and adapting to climate change for the Australian land sectors $46 million
Climate Change Research Program $8 million
Ways of storing Carbon and reducing pollution in the land sectors $201 million
Convert research into practical methodologies that are recognised under the Carbon Farming Initiative $20 million
There will also be funding to identify ways of integrating carbon farming into normal farm business.
Grants for landholders to take action on the ground, including testing new ways to increase soil carbon and reduce pollution $99 million
Refundable tax offset to encourage the uptake of conservation tillage farming techniques and participation in soil carbon sequestration research $44 million
Information about opportunities under the Carbon Farming Initiative to support communication with landholders through the Landcare network and other providers $4 million
Extension and outreach activities. Similar to community inspired approach which proved successful through the $34 million FarmReady Program $64 million
Ongoing Indigenous Carbon Farming Fund to support indigenous participation by developing skills, governance arrangements and methodologies $22 million
Natural resource management regions to plan for climate change impacts and help landholders participate in the Carbon Farming Initiative through research, innovation and on the ground action. $44 million
The Carbon Farming Initiative will support environmental programs like the Gondwana Link and others across Australia. This will be an important part of improved biodiversity health into the future.
TOTAL FUNDING $2003 million