Located in one 1 of 35 globally significant biodiversity hotspots, the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor is the largest biodiverse reforestation carbon ‘sink’ in Australia.
More than 90% of the area has been cleared for agriculture.
We have planted over 30 million mixed native species across 14,000 hectares.
We plan to eventually link small patches of remaining vegetation and 12 nature reserves to create a green corridor
THE CHALLENGE: COMBATTING DRYLAND SALINITY
Salinity in farming landscapes results from removal of trees and shrubs. Shallow rooted crops and pasture annuals use less wa ter than trees and some of this unused rain drains through to groundwater storage. Clearing for agriculture brings accumulated s alt to the surface. Consequently, salinity in Western Australia has been developing since large scale clearing in the South West agricultural regions began and is forecast to continue to expand.
Estimates are that it affects between 1 and 2 million hectares, potentially rising to 5 million, and costs over half a billion dollars a year in lost agricultural production alone.
Clearing over 18 million of the 21 million hectares of native vegetation in the agricultural regions of Western Australia has occurred in an area that is internationally recognised as a biodiversity hotspot. Salinity has had a significant and long lasting impact on the region’s natural biodiversity and land systems. The threat to the biodiversity is not limited to individual species. The Depa rtm ent of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) advises that all the remaining remnants of many valley floor communities (wetlands, shrublands and woodlands) along with their soils could disappear because of salinisation.
By the 1990s dryland salinity was considered the greatest economic and environmental threat to the State of Western Australia with estimates that since 2009 10 the opportunity cost of lost agricultural production from dryland salinity has been over $500 million a year and that 25% of cleared agricultural land will be at risk of salinity in the long term.
Despite these alarming findings, funding for the State Salinity Strategy (2000), was stopped 10 years ago. The Office of the Aud itor General Western Australia, in its role to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of public sector programs, released its ‘Management of Salinity’ report in 2018.
The report stated: “Government has to decide how much intervention is both feasible and economically sound but is currently in no position to ma ke an informed decision. Since 2008, there has been a lack of strategic direction and agencies have reduced monitoring the extent a nd impact of salinity’.
CARBON NEUTRAL’S ACTION PLAN ON SALINITY MITIGATION
Encourage the WA farm sector to target revegetation of 1 million ha of saline land within 10 years
As one of few carbon farming organisations actively involved in biodiverse revegetation, Carbon Neutral aims to demonstrate ‘proof of concept’ in the establishment, registration, and commercial sale of saltland restoration carbon offsets. This will be achieved by establishing a pilot project to:
Demonstrate the capability of marginal saltland to generate revenue from the sale of revegetation and soil carbon credits
Develop restoration and tree/shrub establishment systems that can effectively convert early stage saline land to native vegetation systems which provide carbon credits and biodiversity benefits
CARBON NEUTRAL is a profit-for-purpose carbon solutions provider and carbon project developer, motivated by the goal of reducing carbon emissions to promote a climate-friendly future.
Carbon Neutral acknowledges the Traditional Owners throughout Australia and their continuing connection to the land, water and community.