Australia’s leading environmental markets project developer and investor GreenCollar has today announced that it has secured funding for a series of carbon farming projects under the Queensland Government’s $500M Land Restoration Fund (LRF). The approved projects will generate an estimated value of $9.5 million worth of Australian Carbon Credit Units (“ACCUs”), boosting farm-gate returns for regional Queenslanders and delivering multiple environmental and socio-economic co-benefits over the next 15 years.
The innovative projects are designed to operate alongside grazing and other agricultural production, building greater productivity, more sustainable production and improved terms of trade for local Queenslanders by diversifying project risk and helping landholders to better manage fluctuating commodity prices. On-ground works will also improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef, the amount and condition of habitat available for threatened species and ecosystems and promote social and economic sustainability.
GreenCollar is the largest developer in Australia’s carbon market, with over 200 hundred projects covering over 6 million hectares under the Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), accounting for approximately 50 per cent of delivered abatement across the Australian carbon market to date. With its landholder partners, GreenCollar develops land-based carbon projects and facilitates the sale of the resulting credits to private and public organisations to offset their environmental footprint.
The specific co-benefits GreenCollar covers across the five projects include:
· Environmental: Direct benefits to the Great Barrier Reef, wetland health, threatened semi evergreen vine thicket ecosystems, vegetation improvement and threatened species habitat for koalas, greater gliders and brush-tailed rock wallabies.
· Social/Economic: Direct benefits to local communities include improved socio-economic resilience through investment in local employment and skills development, increasing participation of women in the carbon industry, improving landholder’s wellbeing through connection to place, and improving social and environmental connectivity.
· Cultural: Providing on-country training for Indigenous rangers, employment opportunities as well as new service delivery opportunities through the carbon industry and supporting cultural and customary connections.
James Schultz, GreenCollar Co-Founder and CEO, said, “Partnering with regional Queenslanders and the State is an exciting opportunity to build new channels for farmers to diversify on-farm incomes, reducing their exposure to fluctuating commodity and climatic conditions, and of course delivering positive environmental outcomes. Demand for greener products is increasing across Australia and internationally and this program will allow Queenslanders to get paid for the valuable environmental impact they deliver.”
“These projects build on our existing and fast-growing relationships with regional Queenslanders and allow us to significantly scale up the work we’re doing, with these new projects coming online, we now have reportable projects with landholders across the State from the Gulf Country to the NSW/Qld.
Nadia Campbell from Goondicrum Pastoral Company is partnering with GreenCollar in relation to the Beef and Conservation for the Future project. Nadia said, ‘GreenCollar worked tirelessly with us to develop a premium carbon project that supports both our grazing efforts and the environment; providing opportunity for the diversification of our income streams. Initiatives like the LRF are slowly breaking down the binary attitudes of yesteryear, that it was either grazing or the environment, .and we are now openly able to acknowledge that the two go hand in hand’
Each of GreenCollar’s successful LRF projects vary in size and value:
· Beef and Conservation for the Future (Monto QLD)
– 50,000 total carbon credits (ACCUs) estimated to be generated over 10 years
– 1544ha of native vegetation retained and improved
– Recovery of water quality runoff (through reduction of sediment and nutrients) to the Burnett River.
– Improvement of the extent and condition of habitat for multiple threatened species including brush-tailed rock wallabies, greater gliders, koalas and glossy black cockatoos.
– Reconnecting fragmented and isolated pockets of native vegetation, including a state-wide significant corridor.
· Lake Dalrymple Watershed (Ravenswood QLD)
– 127,300 carbon credits (ACCUs) estimated to be generated over 15 years
– Implementation of carbon management activities that will improve multiple threatened regional ecosystems and reduce sediment reaching and dispersing from the 28kms stretch of Burdekin River
– Assisting to stabilise soil and retain vegetation cover to significantly reducing the risk of sediment mobilisation to a Great Barrier Reef management priority river.
· Forest Retention Project (Coverty QLD)
– 15,000 total carbon credits (ACCUs) estimated to be generated over 5 years
– Reduction of sediment mobilization from the grazing property to improve the water quality running into the Boondooma Dam, the Burnett River and ultimately, to the Great Barrier Reef.
– Mature native vegetation will improve the extent and condition of at least three threatened regional ecosystems of concern, including koala habitat as well as many other threatened species.
– Providing critical connective corridors to create linkages for wildlife movement between Allies Creek State Forest, Barakula State Forest and the Beeron
· Regenerative Production Project (Thangool QLD)
– 15,000 total carbon credits (ACCUs) estimated to be generated over 10 years
– Improving connectivity across the grazing property, by providing enhanced habitat for several threatened species including koalas and the glossy black cockatoo.
– Improved water quality outcomes will be achieved by retaining mature vegetation and stabilising soil, reducing the risk of sediment run off into a Great Barrier Reef management priority river.
· Dry Tropics Regeneration Project (Mount Garnet QLD)
– 150,000 total carbon credits (ACCUs) estimated to be generated over 15 years
– Regeneration of native vegetation to protect the ecological value of the State significant wetlands. Achieved through a change in livestock management by moving from set stocking to rotational grazing as part of the project’s activities.
– Improvement in water quality expected to benefit the Great Barrier Reef, by reducing sediment and nutrient run off from the property into the Burdekin River, and ultimately the Great Barrier Reef
GreenCollar is a profit-for-purpose organisation, and the leading environmental markets project developer and investor across the carbon, water quality, bio-diversity and plastics markets in Australia. Founded in 2011, GreenCollar works with landowners and managers throughout Australia to develop projects that create commercial opportunities by generating environmental credits, while caring for the environment. GreenCollar’s management team was fundamental in helping to establish Australia’s carbon market framework and are widely recognised as thought leaders in the carbon markets industry.
About the Land Restoration Fund
The Land Restoration Fund’s 2020 investment round will invest up to $100 million to empower farmers, land managers and landholders with the support needed to generate additional, regular and diverse income streams through carbon farming projects. This investment from the Queensland Government will develop and foster the emerging carbon farming sector and report the co-benefits that attach to ACCUs from a project, where Queensland has a comparative advantage.