By Alex Druce
November 18, 2015
TWEAKING Australia’s carbon farming rules could unleash profits that have been hitherto hidden in tree plantations.
Academics argue the federal government should allow failed Forestry Managed Investment Schemes (MIS) and other intensive tree plantations to count towards carbon credits under the national Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI).
This would give land buyers an option to integrate a carbon sink into their mixed farming enterprise.
Charles Darwin University Honorary Fellow and tree farm manager Jason Alexandra lamented on The Conversation website that Australia’s Kyoto-compliant forestry plantations were not credited under the CFI.
The environment department has been asked if this rule will change in the future.
Mr Alexandra – also the director of ecosystem management for the Murray Darling Basin Authority – said developing fresh CFI methodologies would encourage farmers to buy plantations for carbon credits and potentially double their money by selling some wood.
“In addition to (selling) carbon (credits), there is potential for plantings that deliver economic development and ecological benefits in terms of restoring landscapes,” Mr Alexandra wrote.
Farmers across NSW have bought parcels of failed MIS plantations since 2008 with a view to convert them back to pastures.
But GreenCollar Consulting chief executive James Schultz, Sydney, said keeping the trees standing was another financial option for farmers if they could meet the environmental criteria.
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– this article was originally published on the The Land website, 18 November 2015