Avoided clearing of native regrowth

Closed 13 Feb 2015

Opened 13 Feb 2015

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

The climate change function transferred to our department from the Department of the Environment and Energy on 1 February 2020.

About this method

This method can be used by landholders who have repeatedly cleared native forest for cropping or grazing. Landholders who can demonstrate two past clearing events and the intention to clear again, may earn carbon credits for instead protecting their forest. This method uses the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) software to model the carbon abatement of projects.

Legal status

The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative-Avoided Clearing of Native Regrowth) Methodology Determination 2015 was made on 13 February 2015, and varied on 8 February 2018.

The explanatory statement for the original Determination, as made on 13 February 2015, is provided to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the legislative requirements.

The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative-CFI Mapping Tool and Minor Corrections) Methodology Determination Variation 2018 varied the method, along with six other methodology determinations. The primary purpose was to reflect the retirement of the online Carbon Farming Initiative Mapping Tool (CFI Mapping Tool).

How does it work?

Landholders that have historically cleared native forest can instead maintain the forest. Emissions are avoided by not clearing the forest and carbon is stored in trees as they grow. To calculate the amount of emissions that would be avoided by not clearing the forest, the method compares a projected baseline in which the project area is regularly cleared with the scenario in which the forest is protected. Emissions from fires and other natural disturbances are also accounted for when modelling emissions avoidance.

The method uses the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) to work out the avoided emissions resulting from the project.

Projects are subject to permanence obligations. This means the project must be maintained for a nominated period of either 100 or 25 years.

Eligibility and restrictions

A number of requirements need to be met to ensure a project is eligible under this method, for example:

  • The land on which the project will be carried out must have native forest cover (20 per cent crown cover consisting of trees that are at least two metres tall).
  • There must be evidence that the land was cleared at least twice in the past.
  • You must have the right to clear the land again without restriction.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you intended to clear the land again, had you not wished to participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Monitoring, reporting and auditing

You will be required to monitor forest health in the project area and check for disturbances to forest cover such as fire.

Projects require regular reporting (at least once every five years) to demonstrate that project requirements are being met and to report on emissions avoidance. Projects must also be audited by a registered national greenhouse and energy reporting (NGER) auditor.

Development of this method

A draft method for Avoided clearing of native regrowth was released for public comment.

Draft determination and explanatory statement

Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC) advice

The ERAC's advice to the Minister regarding the method is published here, in accordance with Section 106(11) (C) of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011.

Method tools

FullCAM

Participants are required to use the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) software to calculate the carbon abatement of their project(s). The most recent public release of FullCAM can be found at the link below:

The FullCAM Guidelines linked below set out the requirements that users must follow to calculate a project's carbon abatement with FullCAM:

FullCAM update

The Department will be releasing an update to FullCAM for public use in 2020. A preview version of the FullCAM update is available to enable proponents to familiarise themselves with new features and calibrations. This version is for preview purposes only, and does not constitute the latest publicly available version of FullCAM that is required to be used by ERF methods. The pre-release version of FullCAM doesn't include the effects of the transitional options being discussed through this consultation. See FullCAM update for Emissions Reduction Fund vegetation projects for further information.

Mapping Guidelines

Participants need to meet the requirements of the Carbon Farming Initiative Mapping Guidelines for mapping project areas and carbon estimation areas. The most recent public release of the CFI Mapping Guidelines can be found at Spatial mapping guidelines.

Forest Cover Data

Users of this method may be interested in viewing Forest cover data layers available on Forest Tools and Data.

Audiences

  • Emissions Reduction Fund

Interests

  • Climate Change
  • Emissions Reduction Fund