• The Australian Government will shortly begin consultation on legislation to support new income streams for farmers who improve biodiversity outcomes on their land
• This legislation would build on the programs under the Australian Government’s existing Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package.
The Australian Government is developing legislation that would underpin a national voluntary biodiversity stewardship market. The legislation would:
- provide a consistent and credible way to describe and measure biodiversity outcomes
- create a new form of tradeable property
- establish assurance and compliance systems that ensure integrity of the market
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the proposed legislative framework would deliver a range of benefits including opportunities for farmers to earn income by delivering biodiversity outcomes for the environment.
“The legislation would ensure that farmers can be recognised for delivering environmental services and would provide a means of earning a drought-proof income from less productive areas of farmland,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The private sector would also gain access to an easy and cost-effective way to invest in credible on-farm biodiversity.
“Many corporations in Australia are interested, or already investing, in projects with biodiversity benefits.
“My Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package is already demonstrating how a market can deliver financial returns to farmers, by piloting projects that deliver biodiversity outcomes alongside carbon, and enhance remnant vegetation.
“As part of these pilots, the Australian National University (ANU) has created the processes and protocols that measure and reward farmers for undertaking the projects, delivering a system that will be respected by international markets.