Reef Credits

Reef Credits

Farmer, investor, traditional land owner, or tour operator — we all care about the future of our nation and its environment, especially in iconic regions like the Great Barrier Reef.

If we are to give the Reef a fighting chance in the face of climate change we must continue to improve the quality of water entering the marine environment.  Under the Reef 2050 plan the goal is to reduce nitrogen loads by 80% and sediment loads by 50% by the year 2025 from where they were in 2009.

An innovative market solution – the Reef Credit Initiative – now offers a new way to drive improvement in water quality in the Great Barrier Reef catchments. It allows farmers and other land managers to earn income through activities that improve water quality. This in turn helps reduce the environmental impact on a Reef that is experiencing significant pressure.

Farmers and land managers can earn Reef Credits by reducing flows of sediment, nutrients or pesticides into waterways.

These Reef Credits are then sold to government, industry and other organisations with an interest in saving the Great Barrier Reef.


Reef Credits are issued to projects according to expertly designed methodologies that calculate or model the reduction of sediment and/or nutrients and pesticides flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef due to land management change activities such as revegetation, riverbank stabilisation, reduction of nitrogen runoff and general system repair.


The Reef Credit Initiative is actively seeking participation and support from all stakeholders and participants in the reef space including science, farming, grazing, tourism, fishing, and conservation.

If you are interested in the possibility of undertaking a Reef Credit project or simply want to find out more about what is involved please contact:

Wet Tropics, Dry Tropics and Mackay Whitsundays

Mike Berwick – 0419 022 629 [email protected]

Fitzroy Basin 

Mark Lincoln – 0438 196 635 [email protected]


Dave Moore – 0406 068 786 [email protected]

Purchasing Reef Credits

Dave Moore – 0406 068 786 [email protected]

Reef Fund, investing, or grant funding 

James Schultz  [email protected]

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Who can undertake a project?

Anyone who is a land owner or land manager may have the potential to undertake a Reef Credit project.  To find out about your eligibility please contact GreenCollar.

Who administers the Reef Credits scheme?

The Reef Credit market will function like other voluntary environmental markets around the world with an independent crediting body that will issue Reef Credits to landholders that have implemented projects that comply with approved methods for reducing nitrogen, sediment or pesticide losses.

How much are Reef Credits worth?

The value of Reef Credits like other environmental commodities such as carbon credits depends on the supply and demand dynamics of the open market.

How are Reef Credit methods written?

Methods can be written by project proponents and others wishing to see particular types of projects developed.  They must comply with the requirements of the scheme which ensures the prevention of perverse outcomes, double counting and measurement and verification issues. The initial pilot methods will be developed through collaboration between GreenCollar, Terrain, the MIP panel and an expert advisory panel of scientific and other stakeholders.

Will the methods be by measurement or modelling or combination?

Some methods may be modelled, others measured and in many cases there will be a combination or transition between the two as data is collected and verified.

Will the market be voluntary or regulated?

The market for Reef Credits is currently voluntary.

 Will the beneficiary, polluter or taxpayer purchase the credits?

The intention of the Reef Credit is to incentivise good land management by having the beneficiary of the outcomes, whomever they may be, pay for that outcome. It is open to any purchaser who sees a value in supporting water quality improvements in the Great Barrier Reef catchments.

 How can various sectors support Reef Credits supply and demand?

The agricultural sectors can support supply by encouraging participation in the scheme to earn alternative income streams for the landholder for undertaking water quality and system repair outcomes.

The tourism, transport and resource sectors can support demand by directing funds aimed at water quality on the reef towards purchase of Reef Credits.

GreenCollar will work with farmers and graziers to explore land sector project options across all available Emissions Reductions Fund Methods.

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