Expansion of Adelaide Hills park a win for biodiversity, carbon offsets

Date posted: 05 February 2018

Hon Ian Hunter MLC
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

South Australia’s first carbon conservation park will be created in the Adelaide Hills, where land next to Charleston Conservation Park will be returned to a grassy woodland that will create carbon offsets and contribute to the state’s climate change efforts.

In an exciting new venture between the State Government, the Native Vegetation Council, and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, a grazing property has been purchased to be returned to a high-rainfall grassy woodland.

The property will be managed for conservation purposes, improving biodiversity in the Mount Lofty Ranges by restoring habitat for declining woodland birds such as the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and Diamond Firetail.

In addition, the property will be registered with the Clean Energy Regulator for the purpose of creating carbon offsets. This restoration effort will form part of the state’s strategy of creating more carbon sequestration opportunities.

Funding for the purchase has been provided through the Native Vegetation Council’s Significant Environmental Benefit Fund – a fund supported by business payments to offset native vegetation clearances.

Background

The acquired property is currently grazed, an activity that suppresses the natural regeneration of native vegetation.

One of the aims of the purchase and subsequent management is the removal of stock to allow for regeneration of native vegetation.

Once registered with the Clean Energy Regulator for the purpose of realising offsets, an audit will be undertaken to verify the amount of carbon sequestered.

Quotes attributable to Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter

The creation of a carbon conservation park is a unique opportunity for South Australia to achieve the combined benefits of protection and restoration of our natural environment, whilst storing carbon as part of our efforts in tackling climate change.

Charleston Conservation Park is the largest intact remnant of its type in the Mount Lofty Ranges and this land purchase presents an excellent opportunity to increase the park’s size.

Quotes Attributable to Presiding Member, Native Vegetation, Emily Jenke

This is a great opportunity for the Council to use funds provided by businesses into the Native Vegetation Fund to achieve a fantastic doubling of the Charleston Conservation Park.

We know that protecting and conserving native vegetation has enormous benefits for the environment, community and agricultural productivity.

Quotes Attributable to Presiding Member, Adelaide Mount Lofty Natural Resources Management Board, Chris Daniels

Increasing the park to more than 100 hectares will ensure that it can continue to sustain woodland bird populations and rare flora into the future.

Impacts of climate change will affect the plants and animals of the Adelaide Hills. As temperatures rise and rainfall declines, restoring habitat is an important response in dealing with this.