Mount Isa based natural resource management group, Southern Gulf NRM, in partnership with carbon project developer, Natural Carbon, and carbon market specialists Corporate Carbon have developed an innovative 'herd aggregation' to open the Australian carbon market up to graziers with smaller herds.
Utilising the Emissions Reduction Fund's beef cattle herd management method, the aggregation is designed to significantly lower the administrative and compliance fees associated with carbon market participation, something that was previously only financially feasible to graziers with herd of more than 50,000 head.
The Queensland Government's Land Restoration Fund 'Kickstarting the Market' funding has enabled Southern Gulf NRM to hold workshops in Normanton, Cloncurry and Richmond to provide graziers with the opportunity to have their interests recognised when designing the aggregation model.
Southern Gulf NRM CEO Andrew Maclean said markets for carbon and other environmental services were in the early stages of development but likely to grow rapidly.
"Southern Gulf NRM is pleased to have the opportunity to support producers interested in accessing this market as a means of productive and sustainable grazing businesses."
All participating parties have agreed to a pioneering model which includes no upfront fees to participate and significantly reduced risk to participating graziers if an extreme weather event prevents them from meeting target carbon abatement. Additionally, Southern Gulf NRM will provide support to assist graziers in activities to increase their productivity and identify applicable co-benefits through individual property management plans.
The project will also apply for the Land Restoration Fund's 2020 Investment Round that opens in late January in an effort to provide additional services to the aggregation.
Natural Carbon general manager Julien Gastaldi said that the herd aggregation project was exactly the kind of innovation the state government hopes to support with the Land Restoration Fund which aims to expand carbon farming throughout Queensland to drive down emissions.
"Making the carbon market accessible to players of all sizes is essential in reducing emissions and ensuring a prosperous future for Queensland's agricultural and farming community," Mr Gastaldi said.
With the aggregation foundation herd from Paraway Pastoral Company's Rockland and Tanbar properties, Natural Carbon and Southern Gulf NRM are now calling for expressions of interest from smaller graziers with 1000+ head to participate in the herd aggregation project.
Paraway Pastoral sustainability manager Paul McDougall said that his company was happy to contribute two herds to the project, which he describes as a win-win situation,
"We saw this as a great opportunity to enable smaller producers to be credited for reducing the emissions intensity of their herds, while we benefit from improved productivity and generate carbon credits," Mr McDougall said..
Producers with cattle herds of at least 1000 head that would like to participate in the herd aggregation project can click here to register their interest, or contact Natural Carbon's Julien Gastaldi.
Southern Gulf NRM will be holding workshops in Richmond (February 11), Cloncurry (February 12) and Normanton (February 13) to promote the 'herd aggregation' model and answer any questions graziers might have. If you are interested in attending or would like additional information, please register with Holly Urquhart.
Contacts: Julien Gastaldi 0479 043 903, Holly Urquhart 07 4743 1888.
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