The Albanese Labor Government has today announced the creation of a biodiversity certificates scheme.
The scheme recognises landholders who restore or manage local habitat and grants them biodiversity certificates which can then be sold to other parties.
This will operate in a similar way to our current carbon crediting legislation.
The scheme will make it easier for businesses, organisations and individuals to invest in landscape restoration and management.
As companies look to invest in carbon offsetting projects like tree planting, we need to make sure there is a path for farmers and the environment to benefit.
We need to protect waterways, provide habitat for native species, reduce erosion, protect topsoil, improve drought resilience and create shelter for livestock.
A biodiversity market will also promote management of existing, remnant vegetation that provides habitat for native species.
As the recent State of the Environment report found, Australia’s environment is poor and deteriorating and government cannot foot the bill alone.
The markets for biodiversity and carbon credits will operate in parallel, both regulated by the Clean Energy Regulator.
Over coming months we will be consulting widely on the detailed rules for scheme – for example the rules on how biodiversity benefits should be measured and verified.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:
“As we move toward net zero, we are creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – not just to protect Australia’s natural environment but to kickstart a nationwide restoration.
“Our market will be open to all land managers – whether they’re farmers, people interested in conservation or Indigenous land managers.
“This is a chance to support farmers using their knowledge and expertise in a way that benefits us all - a chance to shape a better future.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:
“We want carbon planting projects to deliver broader benefits for the environment. We can provide habitat for threatened species while also helping to address climate change.
“Businesses and philanthropic organisations are looking to invest in projects to protect and restore nature. We need to make this easier.
“Repairing nature is good for productivity. Reducing erosion, protecting topsoil and providing shelter for livestock – it’s all good for business.”