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CarbonSMART - the first year

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Kim Boettcher, the Administrative Manager of Landcare’s new Carbon Smart program, talks about the benefits of this project to regional Australia and corporations.
Launched in March 2007, Carbon Smart is a not-for-profit organisation offering a carbon brokering service to farmers. Interested landholders that sign up to the program can earn money for those parcels of land that are set aside as part of the scheme. The land, protected by a legal covenant, must be at least 0.2 hectares, separate from other farming activities (although stock may graze occasionally provided the trees are not damaged) and planted with native vegetation. Rocky hills and fence lines are just some of the areas farmers have already chosen to lock off long-term without reducing available land and pastures. The native vegetation on the land parcels create carbon credits, which are sold to corporations in the scheme.

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the program follows Kyoto guidelines and has already attracted corporate sponsors such as Westpac, Elders and Freehill Solicitors. Carbon Smart has a business model that sees 60% of its income go to farmers, 30% for administration and 10% for insurance, the latter being a depletion fund so that replanting can take place if the trees are destroyed.

The scheme is attracting substantial interest from both landowners as well as corporations wanting to secure carbon credits.  In fact after one year the bank of carbon credits will not meet the corporate demand, and the program has been relaunched with high profile figures like Glen McGrath and Jack Thompson. Television and radio are important avenues for marketing the program, together with extensive public meetings in regional areas. Thousands of hectares have already been planted and, whilst the first cheques will go to NSW and Victorian farmers at the end of the financial year, other states are negotiating to make the scheme a truly national one.

Kim Boettcher is upbeat about the benefits of the scheme and sees this first year as pivotal to its success.

Text: V.B. April 2008


For more information on the CarbonSMART project please contact the following:
Landcare CarbonSMART Sydney Office
c/o Landcare Australia
NSW 1515
Phone: (02) 9412 1040

Landcare CarbonSMART Melbourne Office
c/o Landcare Australia
Level 10, Farrer House 24-28 Collins Street MELBOURNE
VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9662 9977

General Enquiries
Email: carbonsmart@landcareaustralia.com.au

Corporate Offset and Sponsorship Enquiries
Matthew Reddy,
National Sales Director Landcare Australia
Phone: (03) 9662 9977
Email: matthew@landcareaustralia.com.au

Kim Boettcher returns next week with more information about CarbonSMART

For more information, please contact us
CarbonSMART - a new carbon emissions offset program Coastcare grants - very environmentally friendly

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