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Carbon Farming Desert

Desert carbon report | Desert carbon farming case study | Biodiverse Planting Guidelines

Potential carbon credit generating methodologies for the Desert

The following emission reduction or carbon sequestration projects may be applied in the subregion at some point in the future. To create this list, known methodologies were assessed against two basic criteria to determine if they were subregionally applicable: Firstly, does the biology of the subregion, the subregional climate and vegetation classes (or other key variable) allow the methodology to be able to be used in the subregion? And secondly, what is the professional best judgement as to the likely rate of uptake of an approved version of the methodology in the future?

It should be noted that this assessment was qualitative, and individual situations, circumstances or desires may lead to higher or lower than predicted uptake of particular project types in the subregion.

If the methodology has not been fully developed the “model” or the approach to emission avoidance or carbon sequestration has been tested and applied elsewhere and could be applied in the subregion in the future.


Burning Country. Photo by Matthew Paterson KJ

Methodologies are divided into those approved for use and those still in development.

Approved Methodologies

Carbon sequestration

Environmental plantings

Involves the establishment and management of permanent native forests that increase carbon storage. The abatement activity includes planting and/or seeding native species on cleared or partially cleared land. The methodology does not require direct measurement of the amount of carbon sequestered, as the Reforestation Modelling Tool (RMT) provides outputs of amount of carbon stored.

Reforestation and Afforestation

Involves the reforestation of cleared land and afforestation on land where no forests previously existed in order to sequester carbon. Plantings do not necessarily need to consist of native species. Requires direct measurements to be undertaken at regular frequencies to determine the amount of carbon sequestered by the plantings.

Human-Induced regeneration of a permanent even-aged native forest

Involves the sequestration of carbon in permanent forests of native species. The methodology uses the Reforestation Modelling Tool to determine carbon sequestration in tree biomass. The forest is established by human induced regeneration through the cessation of activities causing the suppression or destruction of vegetation regrowth.

Methodologies under Development

Emission avoidance

Management of large feral herbivores (camels) in the Australian rangelands

The methodology involves the removal of feral camels with the emissions reduction benefit based on the difference between the estimated age of the animal at removal and the predicted average age of natural mortality.

Carbon sequestration

Measurement-based methodology for farm forestry projects

The methodology covers the establishment of trees on agricultural land that was previously clear of woody vegetation. The methodology is designed for use in farm forestry and this activity may involve the periodic removal of commercial and non-commercial above-ground biomass from the site.

Carbon storage

Native forest protection projects

Involves the protection of native forests through the prevention of clearing and clear fell harvesting. This includes reduction in logging rates, and creation of credits for avoided deforestation, where a project proponent chooses to not clear fell a forest. The positive list has been amended to allow for protection of native forest projects to proceed on freehold land under certain conditions.

Native forest from managed regrowth

Estimates greenhouse gas abatement achieved by human-induced native forest re-growth. The principal carbon pools estimated are in the tissues of woody plants, and include coarse woody debris on the forest floor. The methodology is most applicable in regions that are subject to regular clearance of native vegetation for pastoral production purposes.

Changed grazing management

Involves changed grazing land management through the management of hydrological processes, reduction fire intensity and frequency and modification of grazing practises to increase standing carbon stocks in native grasses, shrubs and forests.