The soil carbon pilot has been developed by NSW Department of Primary Industries, Office of Environment and Heritage, and Lachlan CMA with funding from the NSW Catchment Action Program. The objective of the project is to develop and test a Market Based Instrument (MBI) to sequester soil carbon in part of the Cowra Trough area of the Lachlan Catchment.
Sequestering soil carbon has been identified as an opportunity to offset greenhouse gas emissions. This projects aims to find the best mechanism to encourage changes in land management that increase soil carbon sequestration, while still achieving sustained production.
Agriculture in NSW has been reported as contributing at least 16% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Sequestering soil carbon has the potential to help agriculture reduce its emissions profile, and provide emissions offsets that other sectors of the economy may choose to support.
Lachlan catchment soil carbon
To date, the project has focused on assessing existing soil carbon levels under different combinations of land use, climate and soil landscapes within the Lachlan Catchment. This has required wide scale soil sampling, and extensive analysis of soil samples. The results have been used to develop a soil carbon calculation tool which will be the basis of the bid evaluation process. This tool has been specifically designed using data from the Cowra Trough soil landscape, to ensure the scientific credibility of the MBI.
While this project is a pilot in a small geographic area and is limited to five years, it aims to inform the design of larger scale and more permanent schemes that might be offered by the private or public sector in the future.
As this is a pilot, there will be some research activities during the project to capture key learnings to inform future initiatives
For detailed information about this project you can download the relevant fact sheets by clicking on the titles below;
To read the Soil Carbon Pilot Project media release, please click here.
Landholder Information Sessions
Landholder information sessions have been held in Manildra, Canowindra and Cudal. Presentations made at the landholder information sessions involved, What's in it for farmers? - Leonie Pearson
Bid development workshop has been held, any changes to current landholder bids need to be submitted to the Lachlan CMA by October 26, 2011.
Completed Bid Forms (yellow sheet) needs to be submitted to the tender box by November 10, 2011.
Soil Carbon Pilot Project
PO Box 510
COWRA NSW 2794
If you would like to speak to someone about the project please see the contact information below;
Lachlan Soil Carbon Pilot Project
PO Box 510, Cowra NSW 2794
Ph: 1800 662 714
Fax: 0263 422565
Please click here to view a larger version of this map.