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The potential for carbon farmining initiative to improve catchment conditions

Harper, R., Sochacki, S., Wocheslander, R., Busby, G. and Cowell, O. (2011) The potential for carbon farmining initiative to improve catchment conditions. In: Swan River Trust Forum, 2 November, Perth, Western Australia.


Multiple issues confront catchment managers including maintenance of water yield and water quality, preservation of soil health and protection of remnant biodiversity. In many cases there are technical solutions to these problems but there is a lack of capital to implement the solutions at the scale required to ensure a positive response. Changes to land use can potentially provide a range of ecosystem services, such as carbon mitigation and biodiversity protection and also change water yield and water quality. The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) recently passed into law and while this is aimed at carbon mitigation it also provides a range of opportunities for widespread improvements in catchment management. This presentation will describe the potential for improved catchment management that could flow from the CFI using a series of case studies based on recent Murdoch University research. These projects have been undertaken with a range of partners in a range of locations in southwestern WA. They include (a) soil amendments that are likely to sequester carbon and reduce nutrient leaching, (b) restoration of wetland vegetation to gain carbon credits and (c) reforestation of catchments to improve water quality. While a market may be developing for carbon these procedures will also result in other environmental benefits and the prospects for payments for such ecosystem services will also be considered.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
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