Representatives from the agriculture, forestry and ecological restoration industries have launched an unprecedented cross-sector alliance and collaborative land management approach to Australia’s climate change mitigation strategy.
The Climate Proofing Australia (CPA) alliance advocates for a whole-of-landscape approach to tackle climate change aimed at integrating trees and improving soils across the landscape to store carbon, improving biodiversity, generating income for farmers and landholders, and moving towards carbon neutral farming and forestry supply chains by 2030.
Greening Australia CEO Brendan Foran said: “We are calling for public policy and political parties to embrace the significant role our sectors can play in Australia’s climate change mitigation strategy. This is supported by a number of Climate Change Authority reports recommending a greater uptake of land and agriculture-based carbon sequestration projects and better recognition of the co-benefits.”
“As managers of nearly 50 per cent of the Australian landmass, farmers and other landholders across the food, fibre and conservation sectors play a key role in protecting Australia’s natural environment. With land-based activities also accounting for around 20 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, it’s no longer viable to ignore a whole-of-landscape approach.”
CPA recognises the critical importance of carbon emissions measures, but also suggests a new approach to land management that encourages farmers to earn carbon credits on their land, sequester carbon from the atmosphere and create more habitat for Australia’s native plants and animals, while increasing resilience and productivity.
The CPA’s key principles are:
Australian Forestry Products Association CEO Ross Hampton said: “The current Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) conditions limit the land sector’s capacity to generate co-benefits associated with carbon sequestration, such as reinstating wildlife habitat, supporting sustainable agriculture, increasing the plantation forestry estate, and cleaner waters in our rivers.”
“Removing these barriers in the ERF will not only boost the agriculture, agroforestry and conservation sectors’ role in meeting our Paris agreement targets, but also realise these significant co-benefits, including regional economic and social benefits for landholders and surrounding communities through increased productivity and job creation.”
Watch the full video of the launch here. Timing guide: