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More carbon farming methodologies

The federal government’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DOCCEE) have released another two draft carbon farming methodologies for public comment under the Carbon Farming Initiative. Comments open until 26th July 2011.

1. Environmental Plantings

This methodology involves the establishment and management of permanent native forests that increase removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  The abatement activity includes planting and/or seeding native species on cleared or partially cleared land.

This methodology applies to projects that meet the following requirements:

  1. Established through direct seeding or planting. This methodology does not apply to projects that involve the promotion and management of natural seed sources that result in regrowth.
  2. Do not involve harvesting of wood products, with the exception of firewood for personal use. Under this methodology, proponents can remove a maximum of 10% of debris per year. Proponents may undertake some thinning for the purposes of promoting carbon sequestration, fire management or other ecological benefits, provided that the biomass remains onsite and the forest continues to meet the RMT requirements outlined above. Other removals of biomass would impact on the variability of carbon stocks and require application of an averaging approach, which is not covered by this methodology.
  3. Involve establishment of environmental plantings. Environmental plantings include species native to the local area, typically a mix of trees and understorey species, but can be single species where monocultures naturally occur. The ‘mixed species environmental planting’ setting in the Reforestation Modelling Tool (RMT) is calibrated for permanent, native forest sinks and must be used for this methodology.
  4. Do not involve on-going grazing by livestock. Projects may involve occasional grazing after the trees are established, e.g. occasional grazing to manage fuel load and weeds. The methodology does not include procedures for calculating impacts of grazing on tree establishment or emissions from livestock.
  5. Established on land that has been clear or partially clear of forest for the five years prior to project commencement. If the area would convert to forest without the project, no abatement would be generated through reforestation.
2. Destruction of methane generated from piggeries

The methodology involves the capture of biogas generated by the decomposition of the piggery manure waste in anaerobic lagoons, and the combustion of the methane component of the biogas.  The abatement activity includes:

  1. Covering anaerobic lagoons;
  2. Installing a gas collection and combustion system (flares or electricity generation system);
  3. Collecting the biogas; and
  4. Combusting the methane component of the biogas.

Read more about methadologies on the DOCCEE website.

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About the Author:

Euan Beamont is Co-Founder/Director of Energy Farmers Australia. From a rural background Euan has always had a strong connection to the land and is very passionate about the sustainability of agriculture. Euan believes that a carbon price is a good thing for agriculture and will enable farmers to change to more sustainable farming practices and move away from their reliance on fossil based energy.
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