CARBON AND ECOLOGICAL
The potential scale of investment proposed through
the Australian Government's Land Sector Package is large (~$1.7billion)
and poses both great opportunity and risk for Australian ecosystems.
The major initiative of the package is the Biodiversity Fund ($946
million) that aims to support landholders to undertake projects
that establish, restore, protect or manage biodiverse carbon stores.
The opportunity is great, because the carbon cycle is the first
ecosystem service with a market based mechanism to fund the restoration
of cleared lands. The risk is great, because ecosystems are not
just trees, and the business model associated with selling carbon
credit tends toward simple, monoculture systems in an effort to
maximize profit. However, carbon plantings represent a permanent
land use change. What you see is what you get.
The Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) presents itself as an impartial body able to provide unbiased
advice to ensure that such land use change contributes to the conservation,
protection, and restoration of Australia's native landscapes.