Carbon sequestration is the process of removal and storage of carbon (i.e. carbon dioxide, CO2) from the atmosphere in carbon sinks (such as forests, woody plants or soils).
Sustainable land management practices is a key way to encourage carbon sequestration. In South Australia, such practices include:
- Revegetation of cleared land areas with environmental plantings to provide ecosystem services such as biodiversity, soil protection and reduced salinity
- Encouraging the use of woody crops in farming landscapes (e.g. farm forestry, renewable bioenergy crops, carbon crops and fodder shrubs)
- Managing annual cropping and grazing practices in ways in which retain more carbon in soil
- Maintaining or increasing the health of natural vegetation systems in conservation areas, remnant vegetation on farms and pastoral regions.
In line with the South Australia Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050, the government has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. A key area of reducing emissions in South Australia has been the transition to renewable energy.
Another important pathway to net zero emissions is increasing carbon sinks in land management practices. As such, the government has a Carbon Sequestration Strategy to provide direction to, and opportunities for, achieving sequestration in Australia.
South Australia’s Carbon Sequestration Strategy
Certain carbon sequestration projects can create high quality, accredited carbon credits. As the demand for offsets increases both in Australia and overseas, there is an opportunity for South Australia to create a carbon offsets industry which will:
- Address climate change by reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions
- Create new jobs and additional investment in regional communities
- Improve farm productivity by changing land management practices
- Value the environmental and social co-benefits that can be achieved
There are a number of ways to store carbon across South Australia’s diverse landscape that have many environmental and social co-benefits. Potential carbon offset projects in South Australia include:
- Biodiverse native forest carbon
- Soil carbon
- Coastal “blue” carbon
- Commercial forestry carbon
- Arid lands carbon
For more information on carbon offsets from land based sectors, go to South Australia’s Sequestration Strategy.
Carbon Planting Guidelines
The Carbon Planting Guidelines package aims to assist South Australian landholders, industry groups, non-government organisations, and others make decision about carbon offsets (also known as carbon credits). The information products provide context to landscape-scale planning to support broad feasibility assessments and as a general introductory guide, including the potential environmental risks and opportunities of carbon planting in South Australia. To find out more go to:
Find out more about what the South Australian Government are doing on carbon from revegetation.
The Goyder Institute for Water Research - carbon sequestration research projects
The Goyder Institute for Water Research provides research and independent, expert advice for science-based water policy to the State Government. The Institute has a research program supported by the South Australian Government, to address climate change including through carbon sequestration. To find out more go to: http://www.goyderinstitute.org/research/climate-action/